2004 Spring Festival - Senior Cup - Introduction and dodgy predictions

5-May-2004

The Senior Cup should prove to be a very interesting competition. Plenty of good bands and a great test piece to listen to. This is what we think may happen.


Just as with the line up with the Grand Shield, the Senior Cup for 2004 has a very strong list of contenders hoping to gain one of the four automatic qualification spots on offer.

The Senior Cup and Trophy for that matter differ from the Shield in that although it is always the ambition of the bands to come away with a victory, there is some consolation in the fact that a good performance can still be rewarded with promotion. That not only allows for some leeway for the judges, but also means that good quality performances are recognised. In a field where there is little to choose between the bands, the difference of a couple of split notes isn't as costly as it is elsewhere.
As we have said, there are plenty of very good bands here although they will all have to be on top form if they are to overcome the difficulties posed by Eric Ball's fine old warhorse, Journey Into Freedom. This popular piece will no doubt take more than a few casualties as the demands on the players and conductors to produce music first and foremost are immense. The audience should enjoy it though and we think it will give the opportunity for the best bands in the field to come through to the front.

All the bands are ranked in the 4BR list, with the top two numbered as high as 16 and 23, and a whole batch listed between 27 and 75 - so you can see how closely matched the contenders are. Geoffrey Whitham and Peter Roberts will have a fine time in the box, and it is nice to see a new face being given a chance to show another string to his bow. Who ever makes the music should do well.

Prediction:

This one should in theory be a bit easier to predict than the Grand Shield – but, well laid plans of mice and men… Still a couple of bands here should have enough class about them to make the task of Geoffrey Whitham and Peter Roberts a bit easier.

Ransome are a fine band on their day and should have enough quality about them to make it back to the Grand Shield, whilst Pennine are a band on the up and after their performance in Bradford they should come here and make it in to the podium positions at least.

The other two Grand Shield places we think will go to BTM if they play to the form they are capable of and don't overblow, and Wingates if they produce the form of Blackpool and the Regional Championships. BT and Burry Port are another two bands who should do well whilst our dark horse could well be Thoresby and John Hudson. On the other hand we may be a country mile out. As we said – the best laid plans eh?

4BR Prediction:

1. Ransome
2. Pennine Brass
3. BTM
4. Wingates
5. BT
6. Burry Port

Dark Horse: Thoresby Colliery

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