2008 North West Regional Championship - Third Section: Runners & Riders


Whoever gets through here could well be one of the favourites come Harrogate itself, but they first have to work out their way to the dark side of the moon and back.

Winter GardensSunday 9th March
Opera House
Adjudicator: James Scott
Test Piece: The Dark Side of the Moon  - Paul Lovatt-Cooper

Commences: 10.00am


BoarshurstBoarshurst Silver
A. Hobbins 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 12th in Second Section (D. Morris) (rel)
2006: =7th (D. Hebb)
2005: 7th (J. Webster)
2004: 2nd (J. Webster)
2003: 2nd in Third Section (J. Webster) (prom)
2002: 7th (J. Webster)
2001: 14th (B. Broadbent)
2000: 5th (D. Hebb)
1999: DNC
1998: 10th in Second Section (rel)
1997: 11th
1996: 7th in First Section (rel) 

Boarshurst fell through the relegation trap door last year after coming in 12th place in the Second Section.

Since then they rounded off the year at Pontins where they came 9th and then started 2008 off by coming 10th at Preston. They may need to boost their form a touch then to make a mark but with the talented Alan Hobbins at the helm anything is possible.  

bmpBMP Europe Ltd. Goodshaw
Kevin Gibbs

Last 12 Years:
2007: 12th (D. Ashworth)
2006: 9th (D. Ashworth)
2005: 7th (D. Ashworth)
2004: 16th (D. Ashworth)
2003: 11th in Second Section (C. Duxbury) (rel)
2002: 11th (A. Widdop)
2001: 14th (A. Widdop)
2000: 8th (R. Curran)
1999: 9th
1998: 8th
1997: DNC
1996: 11th 

Another talented young conductor in Kevin Gibbs will spearhead BMP’s attempt to improve on a disappointing 12th place here last year. 

The band rounded off 2007 by coming 7th at Pontins and then upped their form to come in 5th place at Preston, so they may be heading in the right direction.  

City of ChesterCity of Chester
P. Mottershead

Last 12 Years:
2007: 10th (P. Mottershead)
2006: 6th (P. Mottershead)
2005: 12th (P. Mottershead)
2004: 8th (D. Mitchell)
2003: 18th (D. Mitchell)
2002: 11th (D. Mitchell)
2001: 7th in Fourth Section (D. Mitchell) (prom)
2000: 15th (D. Mitchell)
1999: 4th
1998: 13th in Third Section (rel)
1997: 14th
1996: 16th 

City of Chester have more than held their own here at the level for some time now, but will be looking to improve on their 10th place of last year for sure.

They started 2008 off by coming 13th at Preston so they will know they will have to up their game if they are to return to the top six where they were in 2006.     

Dobcross SilverDobcross Silver
Dennis Hadfield 

Last 12 Years:
2007: DNC (rel)
2006: 5th (D. Hadfield)
2005: 6th (D. Hadfield)
2004: 7th (D. Hadfield)
2003: 5th (D. Hadfield)
2002: 6th in First Section (D. Hadfield) (prom)
2001: 3rd (S. Wood)
2000: 4th (S. Wood)
1999: 10th
1998: 2nd
1997: 7th
1996: 13th in Championship Section (rel)

It s always good to see a band back after a year away and so its welcome back to Dobcross under the direction of Dennis Hadfield once more.   

The band were competing at Championship level just two years ago, so things have changed. Hopefully the start of the return back to the top starts here.  

Dobcross YouthDobcross Youth 2003
B. Lamb

Last 12 Years:
2007: 14th (T. Griffiths)
2006: 5th in Fourth Section  (T. Griffiths) (prom)
2005: 6th (T. Griffiths)
2004: 6th (T. Griffiths)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC 

Dobcross Youth without Ted Griffiths is like Lancashire without its hot pot, but times do change.

The 2003 vintage crop has continued to mature well though and under their new direction of Brian Lamb they should be confident of putting in a strong performance. Always a band to look out for and enjoy. 

Douglas Town
Gordon Higginbottom 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 15th (G. Higginbottom)
2006: 11th (G. Higginbottom)
2005: 10th (G. Higginbottom)
2004: 7th in Fourth Section (G. Higginbottom) (prom)
2003: 9th (G. Higginbottom)
2002: 2nd (G. Higginbottom)
2001: 15th (G. Higginbottom)
2000: 11th (K. Mitchell)
1999: 5th
1998: 13th
1997: 11th

Great as always to see Gordon Higginbottom make an appearance here with Douglas, although in the last couple of years they have fallen away a little off the pace.

Hopefully they have been working hard and can once again make a mark here to stave off any potential threat of possible relegation, otherwise it could be along old journey back to the Isle of Man.  

Grenville Moore

Last 12 Years:
2007: 13th (D. Thornton)
2006: 10th Second Section (D. Thornton) (rel)
2005: 11th (S. White)
2004: 6th (S. Rodgers)
2003: = 8th (C. Andrews)
2002: 7th (N. Sheppard)
2001: 9th in First Section (C. Roberts) (rel)
2000: 8th (C. Roberts)
1999: 4th in Second Section (prom)
1998: 5th
1997: 5th
1996: 3rd in Third Section (prom) 

David Thornton took Eagley here last year but couldn’t rub off any of his usual magic and they came home in a solid if rather unspectacular 13th place.

However 7th place at Preston under the direction of Gareth Westwood was OK but they will know they will have to improve on that if they are to make any sort of impression here on Sunday.  

Iain McKnight 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 5th (K. Gibbs)
2006: 2nd (K. Gibbs)
2005: 15th (K. Gibbs)
2004: 9th in Second Section (P. Lockett) (rel)
2003: 10th (E. Campbell)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: 6th in First Section (C. Tenfijord) (rel)
1999: 9th
1998: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
1997: 4th
1996: 9th in First Section (rel)

Flixton has been strong contenders here over the years and twelve months ago they were not too far off pushing for a qualification place.  

They should be confident of doing well here after winning Pontins late last year so can they book themselves a place at Harrogate once again? 

Louise Hough 

Last 12 Years:
2007: Winners of Fourth Section (L. Hough) (prom)
2006: 2nd (L. Hough)

What a fantastic record here for Formby – two appearances and never out of the top two.

Last year the band went on to win the National title at Harrogate and although it will be asking a great deal of them to do that again they will approach this contest with confidence we are sure. 

They didn’t start 2008 too brilliantly though by coming 4th in the Fourth Section at Preston, so they will have to up their game here.  

John Ludden 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 11th in Second Section (J. Ludden) (rel)
2006: 9th (J. Ludden)
2005: 3rd (J. Ludden)
2004: 10th (J. Ludden)
2003: 7th in Third Section (H. Bousfield) (prom)
2002: 4th (H. Bousfield)
2001: 10th in Second Section (rel) (A. Jones)
2000: 12th (A. Jones)
1999: 14th
1998: 9th in First Section (rel)
1997: 9th
1996: 8th 

Greenalls fell through the relegation trap door last year after coming 11th in the Second Section.  

However they did round off their 2007 season with a well deserved 8th place at Pontins and started 2008 with 8th place at Preston. Hopefully a better result will come here and we suspect they will be looking to challenge strongly.  

hawkHawk Green (Marple)
P. Pavey 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 9th (P. Pavey)
2006: 11th in Second Section (P. Pavey) (rel)
2005: 10th (P. Pavey)
2004: 11th (J. Richardson)
2003: 13th in First Section (J. Richardson) (rel)
2002: 10th (J. Richardson)
2001: 3rd in Second Section (D. Ashworth) (prom)
2000: 3rd (B. Harper)
1999: 11th in First Section (rel)
1998: 6th in Second Section (prom)
1997: 6th
1996: 3rd

A solid enough return last year for Hawk Green when they came 9th here, but they will surely be looking to improve on that this time around and start the climb back to the Second Section and beyond once more.

8th place at Pontins wasn’t a great end to the 2007 season, but at least they now know what they must do if they are to make any sort of impression here.  

Andrew Warriner
Last 12 Years:
2007: 6th (C. Larder)
2006: 10th (M. Vause)
2005: DNC in Second Section (rel)
2004: DNC
2003: 4th
2002: 2nd
2001: 2nd in Third Section (prom)
2000: 11th in Second Section (rel)
1999: 12th
1998: 12th
1997: 8th
1996: 10th in First Section (rel) 

Andrew Warriner and his team will surely be looking to push further towards the podium and qualification places this year after coming 6th twelve months ago.

6th place at Preston was a decent return to start the year off and that could be a good foundation for success here on the weekend.   

Oldham LeesOldham (Lees)
John Collins

Last 12 Years:
2007: Winners of Third Section (J. Collins)
2006: Winners of Fourth Section (J. Collins) (prom)
2005: Winners of Fourth Section (J. Collins)
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 7th in First Section (A. White) (rel)
2000: Winners of Second Section (A. White) (prom)
1999: 2nd
1998: 2nd in Third Section (prom)
1997: DNC
1996: DNC 

One of the pre match favourites. What a fantastic record of achievement in the past three years – three wins. It doesn’t come any better than that does it now!

They should be confident of making it four out of four too what with them coming 4th at Pontins late last year and winning the Third Section at Preston. Another trip to Harrogate beckons. 

PembertonPemberton Old Wigan JJB B
Peter Ashley

Last 12 Years:
2007: 4th (P. Ashley)
2006: 7th (P. Ashley)
2005: 5th in Fourth Section (P. Ashley) (prom)
2004: Winners of Fourth Section (P. Ashley)
2003: 14th (P. Ashley)
2002: 6th (P. Ashley)
2001: Winners of Fourth Section (P. Ashley)
2000: 20th (P. Ashley)
1999: 13th 

Good consistent challengers here Pemberton will be looking to see if they can just up their form and claim a qualification place for the first time since 2004. 

12th at Pontins last year, 9th at Butlins and 5th at Preston, so results are moving in the right direction of late then. 

Pilling Jubilee Silver
Billy Porter 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 17th (B. Porter)
2006: DNC
2005: 9th (B. Harper)
2004: 11th (B. Harper)
2003: 8th (S. Foster)
2002: 10th (S. Simpson)
2001: 10th (S. Simpson)
2000: 14th (S. Simpson)
1999: 8th
1998: 3rd in Fourth Section (prom)
1997: 3rd
1996: DNC

Pilling returned to the contest last year and took time to find their feet when they came 17th.

They will need a good result then to stave off any potential relegation problems, but they came 6th at Preston to give them a boost of confidence and a realistic idea of what they must do to ensure they don’t fall through the trap door.    

Ramsey Town
R. Quane 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 3rd in Fourth Section (R. Quane) (prom)
2006: 4th (R. Quane)

Two excellent performances in the last two years here from Ramsay has seen them gain promotion this year to the Third Section.

Last year’s qualification saw them perform well at Harrogate where they came 16th. That experience should do them the power of good.   

RivingtonRivington & Adlington
D. Mort 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 18th (D. Mort)
2006: DNC
2005: 4th in Fourth Section (H. Bentham) (prom)
2004: 10th (H. Bentham)
2003: 6th (H. Bentham)
2002: 9th (J. Bateson)
2001: 10th (A. Marsh)
2000: 21st (A. Marsh)
1999: 11th
1998: 15th in Third Section (rel)
1997: DNC
1996: 15th 

Another band that returned last year after a year’s sabbatical – and found it rather tough going.

That 18th place will mean that the band will have to put in a pretty decent showing if they are to make sure they don’t get dragged into the relegation do fight. 12th place at Preston shows they may have to work hard to do it.  

Skelmersdale Prize
Conductor: Gordon Clough

Last 12 Years:
2007: 11th (A. Booth)
2006: DNC (rel)
2005: DNC
2004: 13th in Second Section (C. Dickinson)
2003: 7th (I. Bateson)
2002: 8th (G. Martin)
2001: 6th (P. Andrews)
2000: 3rd in Third Section (C. Dickinson) (prom)

After a break of a few years Skelmersdale returned and put in a very good performance to come home in 11th place. 

More of that or better would be great, and with the experienced Gordon Clough at the helm they should be confident we think.

Valley BrassValley Brass (Haydock)
Dave Chadwick

Last 12 Years:
2007: 8th (D. Chadwick)
2006: 15th (D. Chadwick)
2005: 2nd in Fourth Section (R. Wyatt) (prom)
2004: 8th (D. Chadwick)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 8th
2000: 14th
1999: 9th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC 

Dave Chadwick and his young band is continuing to make excellent progress in the right direction and came a very solid 8th place last year.

Another year’s experience will surely hold them in good stead come the contest this time around and they could be a bit of a dark horse to push for a qualification place.  

whitworthWhitworth Vale and Healey
John Binns 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 7th (J. Binns)
2006: 3rd (J. Binns)
2005: 6th (J. Binns)
2004: 13th (J. Binns)
2003: 9th (R. Milton)
2002: DNC
2001: 11th in Second Section (C. Myers) (rel)
2000: 13th (R. Milton)
1999: 7th in Third Section (prom)
1998: 3rd
1997: 9th
1996: 13th 

John Binns and his band have been strong contenders here over the last three years and they will be confident again of trying to push for a qualification place.

9th place in the Third Section at Pontins wasn’t perhaps the best start to the year but it will have given them a timely wake up call ahead of their performance here at the Opera House.  

Past Qualifiers:

2007: Oldham (Lees), Middleton, Eccleston Brass
2006: Rainford, Flixton
2005: Trinity Girls, United Norwest 2000 Brass, Eccleston Brass
2004: Hoover Bolton, United Norwest 2000, Boarshurst Silver
2003: Diggle, Boarshurst, Hoover (Bolton)
2002: Wire Brass, Silk Brass, Middleton
2001: Manx Concert Brass, British Energy Morecambe
2000: Old Hall Brass, Skelmersdale
1999: Manx Concert Brass, Dobcross Youth
1998: United Norwest Co-op Normid 2000, Oldham Brass ‘97
1997: Ashton Under Lyne, Milnrow, Manx Concert Brass
1996: Hollingworth, Pemberton Old
1995: Goodshaw, Hollingworth  

North West bands at the Finals:

2007: 1st, 3rd, 9th
2006: 2nd, 5th
2005: 6th, 7th, 9th
2004: 1st, 4th, 6th
2003: 1st, 2nd, 8th
2002: 1st, 2nd, 3rd
2001: 1st, 10th
2000: 4th, 7th
1999: 2nd, 11th
1998: 1st, 4th, 18th   

4BR Prediction: 

With such a big field there is always going to be an element of luck of the draw about the contest, but it should make for a truly entertaining event for Geoffrey Whitham to train his ear on.

Who will win though? Hard to say, but the likes of Flixton, Oldham (Lees), Whitworth Vale, Valley Brass and Pemberton Old B could well be in the mix come the announcement of the result. Don’t discount BMP or Boarshurt either, so it looks like being one heck of a battle.

1. Flixton
2. Oldham (Lees)
3. Whitworth Vale & Healey
4. Valley Brass (Haydock)
5. BMP Europe Goodshaw
6. Boarshurst

Dark Horses: Pemberton Old B


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