2010 Welsh Regional Championship - First Section: Runners & Riders


Plenty of valleys and vales to take inspiration from in Wales, as seven bands look to take a trip to Harrogate via a tricky Moorside test.

BrangSaturday 20th March
Adjudicator: Colin Hardy
Test Piece: A Moorside Suite (Gustav Holst)
Draw: 4.15pm
Commences: Follows Second Section

Seven bands will take to the contesting stage on Saturday looking to produce a Welsh rendition of a very English piece of music to book their place at Harrogate in September.


Despite the size of the field, the bands here should be confident of doing well if they reach North Yorkshire too – the last three years have produced two winners and a runner up at the International Conference Centre, as well as six consecutive years with a top 10 finish.

Whether or not any of this batch can repeat the heroics of Newbridge and Tongwynlais is another matter, although one band that will certainly be confident of doing just will be City of Cardiff (Melingriffith).

Fast rising

The current Second Section National champion is a fast rising star in these parts under conductor Gareth Ritter, and the Welsh League champion showed decent form against a strong line up of bands at the recent Welsh Open.

Another band that should come here full of confidence is Pontardulais, who rounded off 2009 by producing one of the biggest shocks in domestic Welsh banding for decades, when they won at Blaenavon – beating Tredegar and Tongwynlais into the bargain.

Paul Jenkins is one of the brightest conducting talents in the Principality and with a solid showing at the recent Welsh Open they could well be celebrating a first Harrogate appearance since 1999.


Abergavenny should also fancy its chances this weekend too. They will be conducted by Steve Sykes (fresh from leading Bo’ness to Harrogate in Scotland), and with a growing maturity about their playing as was shown at the Welsh Open, they could well improve on last year’s 3rd place and return to the finals for the first time since 2003.

Markham & District
meanwhile will be looking to put the disappointment of 11th place at the Welsh Open well and truly behind them as they look to return to the finals for the first time since 2004.

Nigel Seaman has been busy of late in and out of the box, and his experience could prove crucial for the band on this lyrically inspired piece.

Famous names

It’s always good to see two old famous names enjoying better times, and Rogerstone in particular will be looking to continue their solid performances at Pontins and Blaenavon late last year, which won them the Welsh League title in the Championship Section.

Meanwhile, there is cause for celebration that Parc & Dare’s name appears on the starting line up once more – after failing to make it here last year. Multiple top section winners and champions here in the First Section in 2004 and 2005, they have gone through the mill a bit of late, but under the baton of David Griffiths they return determined to make a mark on Welsh banding once more.

North Wales

Finally, the North Wales challenge comes with Wayne Ruston and Wrexham Brass, who have shown decent form of late in coming 3rd at the Wilkinson Open. Although they struggled a bit in the top section they should be confident of pushing for a Harrogate berth for the first time since 2005.

As for a winner?

Hard one to call this despite the size of the field, with Abergavenny and City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) perhaps the two that should make it through if they can overcome the treacherous problems of a very difficult set work.

Pontardulais though could push them all the way, with Markham, Wrexham and Rogerstone all in the mix. Our dark horse is Parc & Dare.  

4BR Prediction:
1. Abergavenny Borough
2. City of Cardiff (Melingriffith)
3. Pontardulais
4. Wrexham Brass
5. Markham and District
6. Rogerstone

Dark Horse: Parc & Dare

AbergavennyAbergavenny Borough
Steve Sykes

Last 14 Years:

2009: 3rd (G. Ritter)
2008: 4th (G. Ritter)
2007: DNC
2006: 9th in Championship Section (N. Weeks) (rel)
2005: 10th (A. Williams)
2004: 8th in First Section (P. Harper) (prom)
2003: 2nd (L. Price)
2002: Winners of First Section (D. Childs)
2001: 6th (B. Howard)
2000: 7th (B. Howard)
1999: 4th
1998: 6th
1997: 8th
1996: Winners of First Section

cardiffCity of Cardiff Mellingriffith
Gareth Ritter

Last 14 Years:
2009: Winners of Second Section (G. Ritter) (prom)
2008: 2nd in Third Section (G. Ritter) (prom)
2007: DNC
2006: 2nd (G. Ritter)
2005: 3rd (G. Hann)
2004: Winners of Fourth Section (G. Hann) (prom)
2003: 7th (G. Hann)
2002: 5th (G. Hann)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

MarkhamMarkham and District
Nigel Seaman

Last 14 Years:
2009: 4th (N. Seaman)
2008: 3rd (A. Morton)
2007: 6th (N.Seaman)
2006: 4th (N. Seaman)
2005: 7th (N. Seaman)
2004: 2nd in Second Section (N. Seaman) (prom)
2003: 7th in First Section (A. Jones) (rel)
2002: 10th (N. Seaman)
2001: 4th in Second Section (N. Seaman) (prom)
2000: 3rd (N. Seaman)
1999: 3rd
1998: 7th
1997: 5th
1996: 8th

ParcParc and Dare
David Griffths

Last 14 Years:
2009: DNC
2008: 6th (C. Roberts)
2007: 7th (C. Roberts)
2006: 3rd (C. Roberts)
2005: Winners of First Section (C. Roberts) (prom)
2004: Winners of First Section (C. Roberts)
2003: 10th in Championship Section (C. Roberts) (rel)
2002: 8th (C. Roberts)
2001: 6th (C. Roberts)
2000: 5th (C. Roberts)
1999: 7th
1998: 5th
1997: 9th
1996: 4th

PontPontardulais (Burns Pet Nutrition) Town
Paul Jenkins

Last 14 Years:
2009: 5th (P. Jenkins)
2008: 7th (P. Jenkins)
2007: 5th (P. Jenkins)
2006: 5th (P. Jenkins)
2005: 3rd (A. Jones)
2004: 4th (M. Faro)
2003: 8th (D. Mahoney)
2002: 6th (B. Buckley)
2001: 5th (B. Buckley)
2000: 3rd (B. Buckley)
1999: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
1998: Winners
1997: 2nd in Third Section (prom)
1996: 3rd

J. Jones

Last 14 Years:
2009: 3rd in Second Section (J. Jones) (prom)
2008: 3rd (M. Hutcherson)
2007: 4th (C.B. Buckley)
2006: 7th in First Section (G. O'Connor) (rel)
2005: 9th (C. Thomas)
2004: 7th (C. Thomas)
2003: 4th (C. Thomas)
2002: 4th (C. Thomas)
2001: 4th (C. Thomas)
2000: Winners of Second Section (A. MacDonald) (prom)
1999: 5th
1998: 5th
1997: 3rd in First Section (rel)
1996: 8th

WrexhamWrexham Brass
Wayne Ruston

Last 14 Years:
2009: 8th in Championship Section (W. Ruston) (rel)
2008: 9th (W. Ruston)
2007: 6th (W. Ruston)
2006: 3rd in First Section (W. Ruston) (prom)
2005: 2nd (W. Ruston)
2004: 2nd (W. Ruston)
2003: 6th (W. Ruston)
2002: 9th in Championship Section (W. Ruston) (rel)
2001: DNC
2000: Winners of First Section (as Rhos Silver) (I. Davey) (prom)
1999: 2nd (as Rhos) in First Section
1998: 2nd (as Rhos) in First Section
1997: Winners of Second Section (as Rhos) (prom)
1996: 2nd in Second Section (as Rhos)

Past Qualifiers:

2009: Point of Ayr, Tongwynlais Temperance
2008: Newbridge (Celynen), Beaumaris
2007: Northop Silver, Treherbert
2006: Northop Silver, Penclawdd
2005: Parc and Dare, Wrexham Brass
2004: Parc and Dare, Wrexham Brass
2003: Treherbert and District, Abergavenny Borough
2002: Abergavenny Borough, Thomas Coaches Mid Rhondda
2001: Beaumaris, Treherbert and District
2000: Rhos Silver, Tongwynlais Temperance
1999: Burry Port, Rhos Silver
1998: Thomas Coahes Mid Rhondda, Rhos Silver
1997: Beaumaris, Burry Port
1996: Abergavenny, Thomas Coaches Mid Rhondda
1995: Beaumaris, Tongwynlais Temperance

Welsh Bands at the Finals:

2009: 1st, 10th
2008: 1st, 9th
2007: 2nd, 11th
2006: 8th, 10th
2005: 5th, 10th
2004: 2nd, 13th
2003: 13th, 16th
2002: 2nd, 11th
2001: 3rd, 12th
2000: 10th, 16th
1999: 6th, 14th
1998: 11th, 14th  


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