2009 Midlands Regional Championship - First Section: Runners & Riders


16 bands hoping to gain two qualification places for Harrogate as long as they can master the fives of Pentacle.

Civic HallSaturday 14th March
Civic Hall
Adjudicator: C. Brian Buckley & Derek Broadbent
Test Piece: Pentacle – Graham Cole

First Draw: 10.00am
Second Draw: 11.00pm
Commences: 11.00am

Bedworth Brass
G. Bennett 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 15th (S. Tighe)
2007: 12th (C. Randle)
2006: 8th (C. Randle)
2005: 2nd (C. Randle)
2004: 13th (D. Williams)
2003: 10th (D. Williams)
2002: 6th
2001: 16th
2000: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
1999: 15th
1998: Winners of Second Section
1997: N/K

Bedworth has been gradually falling away off the pace in recent years – from 2nd in 2005 to 15th last year.

Time for that to change then, but they will know that they will have to up their form from the 18th place at Pontins late last season and the 12th at Butlins early this year. 3rd place at the recent Leamington Contest may just be the timely boost they need.   

Brackley & District
Jason Glynn

Last 12 Years:
2008: 18th (D. Richards)
2007: 9th (J. Glynn)
2006: 11th (J. Glynn)
2005: 6th (J. Glynn)
2004: 7th (J. Glynn)
2003: 9th (J. Glynn)
2002: 3rd in Second Section (prom)
2001: 6th
2000: 4th
1999: 12th
1998: 4th
1997: 14th

A bit of a disaster here last year for Brackley as they plummeted from a top ten finsih in 2007 to 18th and last in 2008.

Now they will know that they will have to bring some decent form to bear if they are to avoid any potential relegation threat and they will also have to up their form from the 13th place at Pontins late last season if they are to do just that. 

CarltonCarlton Brass
W. Ritchie BEM 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 4th (W. Ritchie BEM)
2007: 3rd in Second Section (W. Ritchie) (prom)
2006: 3rd (T. Wilson)
2005: 3rd (T. Wilson)
2004: 13th (T. Wilson)
2003: 2nd in Third Section (prom) (T. Wilson)
2002: 2nd (T. Wilson)
2001: Winners of Fourth Section (prom) (T. Wilson)
2000: 5th (N/K)
1999: 21st
1998: DNC
1997: DNC 

Walter Ritchie and his band just missed out on a qualification place last year in coming 4th – a fine achievement on their debut.

If they can build on the 7th place in their spilt section at Butlins and their recent 5th place at the Leamington contest then they may be looking to get back to Harrogate once again.   

City of Coventry
Stephen Cooper 

Last 12 Years:
2008: Winners of Second Section (S. Cooper) (prom)
2007: 4th (S. Cooper)
2006: 17th in First Section (S. Cooper) (rel)
2005: 15th (S. Lippeatt)
2004: 12th Championship section (P. Bailey) (rel)
2003: 10th (P. Bailey)
2002: 2nd in First Section (prom)
2001: 5th
2000: 4th
1999: 17th
1998: 8th
1997: 6th

Not good enough to stay in this section in 2006, plenty good enough though to return in fine style in 2008.

Last year’s Second Section champions went on to come an excellent 6th at Harrogate and since then they have shown they can hold their own at this level by coming 11th in their split section at Butlins. More of the same and they should be well pleased.  

ForestersForesters Brass 2000
Peter Collins

Last 12 Years:
2008: 9th (P. Collins)
2007: 6th (P. Collins)
2006: Winners of Second Section (P. Collins) (prom)
2005: 4th (P. Collins)
2004: 12th (P. Collins)
2003: 4th (L. Baker) (prom)
2002: 7th (D. Blakeson)
2001: Winners of Third Section (D. Blakeson)
2000: 3rd in Fourth Section (N/K) (prom)
1999: 11th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC 

Foresters just fell away a little last year in coming 9th, but Peter Collins has a compact and competitive band under his command.

That was certainly shown in them coming 6th overall in the massive First Section field at Butlins earlier in the season. More of that form and a trip to Harrogate could be withing their grasp.  

Foss Dyke
Andrew Keegan 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 5th (J. Davies)
2007: DNC
2006: Winners (G. Wyatt)
2005: 9th (W. Ritchie)
2004: 8th (W. Ritchie)
2003: 6th (W. Ritchie)
2002: DNC
2001: 12th Championship (rel)
2000: 8th (prom)
1999: 6th
1998: 5th
1997: 16th
Andrew Keegan takes over the reins at Foss Dyke and the former champions will be keen to repeat the form that saw them take the title here in 2005.

13th at Butlins in their spilt section of the draw wasn’t a great start to the 2009 season, but if they can put that behind them they should more than hold their own. 

gresleyGresley Colliery
Stephen Shimwell

Last 12 Years:
2008: 10th (D. Hirst)
2007: Winners (R. Grantham)
2006: 10th (D. Hutchinson)
2005: 13th (D. Hutchinson)
2004: 11th (D. Hutchinson)
2003: 3rd (D. Hutchinson)
2002: 17th
2001: 8th
2000: 16th
1999: 17th
1998: 9th in Second Section (prom)
1997: 2nd

Gresley couldn’t retain their title last year, but still put in a decent account to come 10th.

That would have disappointed this ambitious bandtand with a new MD at the helm and their recent encouraging 5th place in their split section of the Butlins contest they could well feature highly again.   

Chris Groom 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 2nd in Second Section (C. Groom) (prom)
2007: 2nd (C. Groom)
2006: 10th (C. Groom)
2005: 7th (C. Groom)
2004: 5th (C. Groom)
2003: 12th (C. Groom)
2002: 8th (C. Groom)
2001: 3rd (C. Groom)
2000: 14th (N/K)
1999: 9th
1998: 11th
1997: 8th

A bit of a convoluted pun to suggest always the bridesmaid never the Groom, but Harborough will want to end their run of be a perennial runner up.

Last year they were good value for second place in the Second Section and went on to produce a decent showing at Harrogate to come 14th. A return trip might well be on the cards again if they really hit top form – but this time they would like to be going as winners we are sure. 

Dave Newman

Last 12 Years:
2008: 3rd (D. Newman)
2007: 11th (D. Newman)
2006: 15th (D. Newman)
2005: 11th (D. Newman)
2004: Winners of Second Section (D. Newman) (prom)
2003: 16th in First Section (rel) (R. Evans)
2002: 13th
2001: 9th
2000: 9th
1999: 7th
1998: 12th in Championship Section (rel)
1997: 9th

Dave Newman continues to do excellent work with Hathern, and after a few seasons of finding their feet at this level, they made a remarkable step in form in coming 3rd last year.

That led to them coming an equally impressive 7th at Harrogate, and if they have continued to improve since then another trip to the finals is well within their grasp.   

BlidworthHopkins Solicitors Blidworth
Kevin Steward 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 12th (K. Steward)
2007: 16th (G. Hawley)
2006: 2nd in Second Section (G. Hawley) (prom)
2005: 9th (G. Hawley)
2004: 6th (G.Hawley)
2003: 9th (G. Hawley)
2002: 10th (M.Wardle)
2001: 5th (K. Wardle)
2000: 12th (N/K)
1999: 8th
1998: 18th in First Section (rel)
1997: 17th 

Blidworth has foud life a bit tough since gaining promotion in 2006, although they did move up the results table somewhat to come 12th last year.

They will also know that they will have to improve on that form is they are to challenge for a top six place or better this weekend after they came 10th in their split section of the draw at Butlins.  

IbstockIbstock Brick Brass
Ken Ferguson 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 14th (K. Ferguson)
2007: 8th (G. Sutton)
2006: 14th (D. Jones)
2005: 7th (D. Jones)
2004: 14th (D. Jones)
2003: 11th (P. Northey)
2002: 11th
2001: 10th
2000: Winners of Second Section (prom)
1999: 3rd
1998: 10th
1997: 15th

Tuba star Ken Ferguson will want to get Ibstock back on track after they fell away to come 14th last year.

16th at Pontins late last season and then 13th in their split section of the draw at Butlins means that they will have their work cut out if they are to do just that. Their results history suggests that they may just do that though.   

Cliff Parker

Last 12 Years:
2008: 11th (C. Parker)
2007: 11th in Championship Section (C. Parker) (rel)
2006: 10th (C. Parker)
2005: 5th in First Section (C. Parker) (prom)
2004: Winners (C. Parker)
2003: 6th in Second Section (M. Vause) (prom)
2002: Winners
2001: 15th in First Section (rel)
2000: 17th
1999: 19th
1998: 4th
1997: 13th

Langley put in a solid enough performance last year in coming 11th on their return to the First Section after their two year stay in the Championship Section.

Now they will want to try and get back there, but after coming 14th at Pontins late last season and 8th at Butlins in their section of the split draw a couple of months ago, they will have to up their form for sure. 

PhoenixPhoenix West Midlands Brass
David Maplestone 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 2nd (D. Maplestone)
2007: Winners of Second Section (D. Maplestone) (prom)
2006: 8th (D. Bishop-Rowe)
2005: Winners of Third Section (D. Bishop Rowe) (prom)
2004: 5th (D. Bishop Rowe)
2003: Winners of Fourth Section (D. Bishop Rowe) (prom)
2002: 4th
2001: DNC
2000: DNC 

What a remarkable record for Phoenix at this contest over the past few years. A bit like YBS at the British Open a few years ago, every odd year they seem to take a title here.

So what are the odds on them doing that again this time around? Pretty short if they show the form that won them the Leamington contest just a few weeks ago. 

ShirleyShirley Band
A. Green

Last 12 Years:
2008: 7th (A. Green)
2007: 7th (M. Ford)
2006: 7th (M. Ford)
2005: 8th (D. Lea)
2004: 10th (D. Lea)
2003: Winners of Second Section (D. Lea) (prom)
2002: 2nd
2001: 9th
2000: 19th in First Section (rel)
1999: 13th
1998: 14th
1997: 12th in Championship Section (rel)

Contesting lightening doesn’t strike twice for Shirley, it strikes three times in a row its seems, after the band came 7th once again last year.

Conductors cry out for consistency of course, but the band will be hoping that they can possibly forget that this time around and post a possible qualification winning spot instead.  

Towcester Studio
H. Thomas

Last 12 Years:
2008: 13th (H. Thomas)
2007: 15th (B. Johnson)
2006: DNC (rel)
2005: 11th in Championship Section (A. Sellers)
2004: 3rd in First Section (A. Sellers) (prom)
2003: 7th (A. Sellers)
2002: 4th (A. Sellers)
2001: Winners of Second Section (A. Sellers) (prom)
2000: 8th (A. Sellers)
1999: 7th in First Section (rel)
1998: 16th
1997: 18th 

Every long term journey starts with small but significant steps and since their return here Towcester has done just that – 15th in 2007, 13th last year.

More of the same would do nicely then if they are to start thinking about a possible return to Harrogate in the years to come. 

WigstonWigston Band
Garry Sleath 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 6th (G. Sleath)
2007: 10th (G. Sleath)
2006: 4th in Second Section (G. Sleath) (prom)
2005: 2nd (G. Sleath)
2004: 15th in First Section (G. Sleath) (rel)
2003: 15th (G. Sleath)
2002: 5th in Second Section (prom)
2001: 4th
2000: 9th
1999: 16th
1998: 14th
1997: 13th

Garry Sleath has made Wigston into a very competitive outfit, and since their relegation in 2004, they have posted increasingly improved results on each appearance at the regional contest.

More of that this time around and a possible qualifiaction place may be on the horizon.  

Past Qualifiers: 

2008: Glossop Old, Phoenix West Midlands, Hathern
2007: Gresley Colliery, Derwent Brass, Jackfield (Elcock Reisen)
2006: Foss Dyke, Kibworth, Riddings
2005: Raunds Tempeance, Bedworth Brass
2004: Langley, Riddings
2003: Kibworth, Riddings, Gresley Old Hall
2002: Staffordshire, City of Coventry, Derwent Brass
2001: Kibworth, Ratby Co-operative
2000: Ratby Co-operative, Thoresby Colliery
1999: Kibworth, Riddings
1998: Thorntons Brass, Unity Brass
1997: Ratby Co-operative, Glossop Old, Thorntons Brass
1996: Glossop Old, Hathern, Enderby
1995: Rolls Royce (Coventry), Kibworth
1994: Ancient Order of Foresters, Rolls Royce (Coventry)   

Midlands Bands at the Finals: 

2008: 6th, 7th, 11th
2007: 4th, 13th, 14th
2006: 1st, 6th, 14th
2005: 13th, 17th
2004: 15th, 17th
2003: 7th, 9th
2002: 1st, 4th, 6th
2001: 5th, 10th
2000: 1st, 5th
1999: 8th, 9th
1998: 12th, 13th  

4BR Prediction: 

A hard fought contest looks likely here on the weekend with  batch of bands all very well matched.

Of them, we think history might repeat itself with Phoenix West Midlands dpingtheir odd year magic once more to take the title, joined in Harrogate by Hathern.

Close on their heels could well be Carlton Brass, Gresley Colliery, Foresters Brass and Langley, with our dark horse being Harborough.

1. Phoenix West Midlands
2. Hathern
3. Carlton Brass
4. Gresley Colliery
5. Foresters Brass
6. Langley

Dark Horse: Harborough


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