2008 Scottish Regional Championship - Championship Section: Runners & Riders


How will the best bands in Scotland get to grips with Eric Balls Festival Music? It promises to be a real battle of the clans this year with the added bonus of a ticket to Ostend in 2009 too.

Sunday 9th March
Adjudicators: David Read & Steve Sykes
Test Piece:  Festival Music – Eric Ball
Commences: Following First Section results

Bon AccordBon Accord
Morten E. Hansen
4BR Ranking:  

Last 12 Years:
2007: 7th (R. Evans)
2006: 4th (J. Roberts)
2005: 7th (D. Beckley)
2004: 6th (A. Swainson)
2003: 2nd in First Section (A. Swainson) (prom)
2002: 10th in Championship (A. Swainson) (rel)
2001: 7th (A. Swainson)
2000: Winners of First Section (A. Swainson) (prom)
1999: Winners of Second Section (prom)
1998: 10th in First Section (rel)
1997: 5th
1996: 10th in Championship (rel)

Bon Accord has held its own in the top section here over the last few years, coming as high as 4th in 2006, but dropping to 7th twelve months ago.

They didn’t really hit any kind of form at the Scottish Open at the end of last season coming 14th, but the decision to import the experienced Morten E Hansen from Norway is a good one. He brings with him a clear musical thought process and plenty of hard graft. It could pay dividends.   

Archie Hutchison
4BR Ranking:

Last 12 Years:
2007: 5th (A. Hutchison)
2006: Winners of First Section (A. Hutchison) (prom)
2005: 3rd (A. Hutchison)
2004: 7th in Championships Section (R. Evans) (rel)
2003: 8th (R. Evans)
2002: 6th (R. Evans)
2001: 3rd (R. Evans)
2000: 6th (R. Newsome)
1999: 5th
1998: 8th
1997: 4th
1996: 5th

Dalmellington showed last year that they had comfortably made the step up in class from the First Section in coming a well deserved 5th.

Archie Hutchison is one of the most experienced MDs around and he will certainly know this piece inside out. 7th at Pontins and 8th at the Scottish Open will have given them a hardened contesting edge ahead Sunday and it may give them an outside chance of a qualification place.   

Dunaskin DoonDunaskin Doon
John Boax

Last 12 Years:
2007: 2nd in First Section (J. Boax) (prom)
2006: 8th (J. Boax)
2005: 5th (J. Boax)
2004: 5th (J. Boax)
2003: 3rd (J.Boax)
2002: 4th (D. Hirst)
2001: 10th in Championship  (B. Keachie) (rel)
2000: 7th (A. McCutcheon)
1999: 8th
1998: 2nd in First Section (prom)
1997: 3rd
1996: 9th in Championship (rel) 

Dunaskin Doon didn’t appear at the Scottish Open so we don’t know what kind of latent 2007 form they bring with them here, but they were 14th at the Land O’ Burns contest and came runners up in the First Section last year.

It is a big step up a level and the band could only manage 17th at First Section Finals at Harrogate. If they can take a couple of scalps we think they will be very pleased. 


kingdomKingdom Brass
Craig Anderson
4BR Ranking: 

Last 12 Years:

2007: 4th (C. Anderson)
2006: 5th (G. O'Connor)
2005: 5th (R. Farr)
2004: 5th (D. Hirst)
2003: 7th (A. Duncan)
2002: 4th (A. Morrison)
2001: 4th (T. Wyss)
2000: 2nd in First Section (prom) (T. Wyss) 

(Kingdom Brass formed from amalgamation of Cowdenbeath and Kelty & Blairadam in 1999)

Now one of he most consistent bands in Scotland under the baton of the talented Craig Anderson, Kingdom has been pushing for a podium place for some time.

Winners at Fife, 7th at Land O Burns and 9th at Scottish Open showed that they are solid and always well prepared on the contest stage. Can they just up that form though to muscle in on the podium places on Sunday? 

Selmer Simonsen
4BR Ranking:  

Last 12 Years:
2007: Winners (N. Boddice)
2006: 2nd (S. Bastable)
2005: 4th (S. Bastable)
2004: 3rd (F. Renton)
2003: 2nd  (F. Renton)
2002: Winners (F. Renton)
2001: 5th (F. Renton)
2000: 4th (F. Renton)
1999: 2nd
1998: 5th
1997: 3rd
1996: 3rd

The reigning champion didn’t have the 2007 they would have hoped for given the great win they had last year, and they come to the contest looking for some sort of rejuvenation.

It was a bit of a mystery why it all went so peetong but somehow the wheels came off big style, especially at the Scottish Open where they came a disastrous joint 12th. The decision to get the talented Selmer Simonsen could be a trump card though, as he is the leading light of the younger generation of Norwegian conductors and has extensive experience of the banding scene here in the UK.  They are already booked for Stavanger, so what odds another Euro ticket to Ostend in 2009? 

NewmilnsNewmilns and Galston
Alex McCutcheon
4BR Ranking:

Last 12 Years:
2007: Winners of First Section (J. Smith) (prom)
2006: 4th (C. Anderson)
2005: 9th in Championship Section (C. Anderson) (rel)
2004: 2nd in First Section (C. Anderson) (prom)
2003: Winners in Second Section (C. Anderson) (prom)
2002: 9th (C. Anderson)
2001: 10th in First Section (N. Eggo) (rel)
2000: 7th (J. Smith)
1999: 10th in Championship (rel)
1998: 7th
1997: 2nd in First Section (prom)
1996: 6th

Newmilns and Galston has had a chequered a record here as an American version of a highland kilt. 

Up and down but always battling on, they were as low as the Second Section just a few years ago, but ever since they have moved with confidence up through the sections. Last year they won and went on to come 16th at Harrogate, and they were an excellent 6th at the Scottish Open, so they may just fancy their chances of causing a little bit of an upset.   

NewtongrangeNewtongrange Silver
Ray Farr
4BR Ranking:  

Last 12 Years:
2007: DNC
2006: 6th (A. Ramsay)
2005: Winners (A. Ramsay)
2004: Winners First Section (K. Wilkinson) (prom)
2003: 9th  (B. Hurdley) (rel)
2002: 3rd (R. Farr)
2001: 6th (R. Farr)
2000: 5th (D. Hirst)
1999: 6th
1998: 3rd
1997: 5th
1996: 4th 

Great to see Newtongrange back. After the high of the Scottish victory in 2005 came the low of not being able to make it here last year, but they have regrouped with real stoicism, grit and determination and they take to the stage with the added bonus of Ray Farr at the helm.

10th at the Scottish Open was a decent enough return given the circumstances, but they was potential there for much better – and this could be the weekend to show it. 

Scottish Co-opScottish Co-op
Allan Ramsay
4BR Ranking: 

Last 12 Years:

2007: 3rd (A. Ramsay)
2006: Winners (N. Childs)
2005: 3rd (N. Childs)
2004: Winners (N. Childs)
2003: Winners (N. Childs)
2002: 7th (D. King)
2001: Winners (N. Childs)
2000: Winners (H. Snell)
1999: 3rd
1998: Winners
1997: Winners
1996: Winners 

Scottish Co-op got it wrong big style last year when the decision to try something different right at the start of their assault backfired on them. They won’t make that mistake a second time we are sure.

Alan Ramsay has a talented team under his command and they were very close to taking the Scottish Open title late last year. On their day they are as good as just about anyone on the big contest stage and they have a proud record to uphold too. Qualification is a minimum requirement and another potential victory is well within their capabilities. 

kinneilUnison Kinneil
Colin McKenzie
4BR Ranking:  

Last 12 Years:
2007: 6th (C. McKenzie)
2006: 8th (A. Berryman)
2005: 6th (R. Tennant)
2004: 4th (A. Ramsey)
2003: 3rd (A. Ramsay)
2002: 5th (E. Dunlea)
2001: 8th (J. Hinckley)
2000: 2nd (A. Hutchison)
1999: Winners of First Section
1998: 9th (rel)
1997: 8th
1996: 2nd in First Section (prom)

An improving band under the direction of Colin McKenzie, Unison Kinneil has been a consistent performer here over the last few years and were a decent 6th place last time out.

They were runner-up at the Land O’ Burns contest and came joint 12th at the Scottish Open, so they know they will have to be top form if they are to once more make it comfortably into the top six or better.     

Russell Gray
4BR Ranking:   

Last 12 Years:
2007: 2nd (P. McCann)
2006: 3rd (A. Duncan)
2005: 2nd (A. Duncan)
2004: 2nd (A. Duncan)
2003: 6th  (P. McCann)
2002: 2nd (P. McCann)
2001: 2nd (P. McCann)
2000: 3rd (P. McCann)
1999: Winners
1998: 2nd
1997: 2nd
1996: 2nd

Close, but no shortcake biscuit for Whitburn here in the new Millennium – so far that is. Somehow they just don’t seem to have got the measure of this contest in the last few years despite some fine performances.

Perhaps the tag of favourites possibly undermines them, and they will surely be that this year too after a fine 2007 saw them win big money in domestic competition. Champions at Land O’ Burns, Brass in the Park and the Scottish Open, plus prize winners at the Open, Russell Gray has a fine band under his command and one that should be in prime position to finally take the one major Scottish honour to elude this century. On the other hand…    

Past Qualifiers:

2007: Kirkintilloch, Whitburn
2006: Scottish Co-op, Kirkintilloch
2005: Newtongrange, Whitburn
2004: Scottish Co-op, Whitburn
2003: Scottish Co-op, Kirkintilloch
2002: Kirkintilloch, Whitburn
2001: CWS (Glasgow), Whitburn
2000: CWS (Glasgow), Unison Kinneil
1999: Whitburn, Kirkintilloch
1998: CWS (Glasgow), Whitburn, Kirkintilloch*
1997: CWS (Glasgow)*, Whitburn, Kirkintilloch
1996: CWS (Glasgow), Whitburn
1995: Bo'ness and Carriden, Newtongrange
1994: CWS (Glasgow), Newtongrange
1993: Whitburn, CWS (Glasgow)
1992: Whitburn, CWS (Glasgow)
1991: Newtongrange, Whitburn, Bo'ness and Carriden, CWS (Glasgow)*
1990: Kirkintilloch, Whitburn, CWS (Glasgow)
1989: CWS (Glasgow), Whitburn 

*Pre Qualified


How Scottish bands did in London:

2007: 9th, 17th
2006: 8th, 10th
2005: 11th, 14th
2004: 8th, 17th
2003: 8th, 9th
2002: 10th, 14th
2001: 8th, 10th
2000: 6th, 18th
1999: 9th, 11th
1998: 7th, 12th, 13th
1997: 4th, 11th, 16th
1996: 1st, 17th
1995: 13th, 15th
1994: 6th, 13th
1993: 6th, 8th
1992: 4th, 11th
1991: 4th, 10th, 12th, 19th
1990: 1st, 5th, 19th
1989: 3rd, 10th   

4BR Prediction:

It may not appear hard to predict the top three here nowadays, but it may be hard to predict the winners. 

The trio of Whitburn, Scottish Co-op and Kirkintilloch should have more than enough about them to battle it out once more for the top honours, but behind them is a different question. 

Whitburn are favourites and should if all things come together should win here for the first time since 1999. We have said that before however and Scottish Co-op and Kirky will have something to say about it too.
Kingdom could push the top three the closest whilst Dalmellington and Newtongrange should show well. Our dark horse is Bon Accord.

1.  Whitburn
2.  Scottish Co-op
3.  Kirkintilloch
4.  Kingdom Brass
5.  Dalmellington
6.  Newtongrange

Dark Horse: Bon Accord


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