Welsh Regional Championship
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Brangwyn Hall, Swansea
Saturday 16th March
Adjudicator: Robert Childs
Commences: After results of 3rd Section
Bands: Cwmbran (J. Burns): Lewis Merthyr (L. Harries): Llanrug (P.
Hughes): Penclawdd (tba): Rhyl (L. Lawrie)
The smallest section of competing bands in the whole country will
be put before the ears of Robert Childs, but it still won't be an
easy task. The draw isn't going to be a factor this time around,
but there is enough talent in the bands here to make the task difficult
enough. Robert Childs knows the piece very well though so any waffle
will surely be penalised. Short but sweet then.
in the second section for the first time in many a year after an extended period
in the third section where they made steady and solid progress year on year. John
Burns is a young and talented MD and he led the band with great style during 2001.
They were 2nd here last year after four years in which they came 4th, 8th, 5th
and 5th in the lower section. They were 8th at the National Finals and came 4th
at Treorchy and 2nd at Ebbw Vale. A good young band with lots of talent, they
could be up there again.
Lewis Merthyr is a band with a very impressive
past record of contest achievement in Wales over the years and were in fact Champion
Band of Wales in 1984 and won the Welsh Regional title as well. They also went
on to represent Wales at the European Championships. The intervening years were
not so kind though and at one point they were very close to extinction. With an
admirable determination though they have returned and this year sees them back
at the contest for the first time since 1998 when they came 8th in the top section.
They were 6th at the Burry Port contest in the first section, so they could do
well here. Lets hope it is the start of a return to the top.
promoted this year following their 3rd place last year in the third section. That
was their second promotion in four years following their win in the fourth section
in 1998. Since then they have challenged each year for the top prize and came
7th in 1999, 2nd in 2000 and 3rd last year, so they will hoping for more of the
Penclawdd are another band that has tasted success at the top level
in Wales and in fact won the championship section title in 1986.
Tony Small isn't conducting the band this time around due to unfortunate
circumstances at last year's contest, but he has been instrumental
in maintaining a strong banding outpost in the far reaches of West
Wales. The band won the Third section as far back as 1979 and went
on to claim the second section title in 1983 as well, before their
crowning glory in 1986. They were relegated to this section following
four years in the first section in which they came 7th in 1998,
6th in both 1999 and 2000 and 8th last year. By one of the quirks
of the system in Wales they played in the Championship section during
2001 at local contests and came 6th at both Ebbw Vale and Burry
Port and 7th at Treorchy.
Rhyl have been comfortable contenders in this
section since they were promoted following their win in the third section in 1999
and in 2000 they were 2nd and last year were 3rd. They were 15th at Pontins, but
will be hoping to repeat the form that saw them come runners up in 2000 at least.
They haven't as far as we know got any recent form as such so they could be a
bit of a mystery.
3. Rhyl Silver
4. Markham and District
5. RAF St Athans
6. Newport Borough