2007 West of England Regional Championship - Championship Section

28-Feb-2007

It really could be anyone's pick here in the Championship Section as Mount Charles strive to become the first band in over a decade to retain their title.


Sunday 11th March
Adjudicator: David Hirst & Barry Thompson
Test Piece: Isaiah 40 Robert Redhead
Commences: 3.00pm
  


AldbourneAldbourne
Conductor:
Melvin White
4BR Ranking: 114

Last 11 Years:
2006: 5th (S. Sykes)
2005: Winners of First Section (prom) (M. White)
2004: 4th (M. White)
2003: 7th (I. Holmes)
2002: 11th Championship (rel) (B. Grant)
2001: 7th in Championship (D. Williams)
2000: 5th in Championship
1999: 6th in Championship
1998: 2nd (prom)
1997: 4th
1996: N/K

Albourne did really well last year to push into the top six, but since that high water mark in Torquay things have been a bit up and down. Steve Sykes has left and was replaced by Dave Barringer who has worked hard to maintain the momentum that the band has shown in the last few years. Melvin White takes over for this contest.

Yeovil saw them do OK against a pretty weak field of bands in coming 10th, but they will have to up the form if they are to push for a top six place again this year and there is no news as yet to who is taking them here. 


BournemouthBournemouth Concert Brass
Conductor:
Nigel Taken
4BR Ranking: 82

Last 11 Years:
2006: 6th (L. Vertommen)
2005: Winners (N. Taken)
2004: Winners First Section (N. Taken) (prom)
2003: 3rd (N. Taken)
2002: 5th in Championship (rel) (N. Taken)
2001: 10th in Championship (L. Adams)
2000: 7th in Championship
1999: 4th in Championship
1998: 6th in Championship
1997: 3rd in Championship
1996: N/K

Bournemouth couldn't quite make it a hat trick of Regional titles last year, but under the baton of Luc Vertommen they were pretty decent value in coming home in 6th place.

Nigel Taken returns once more and they will surely be boosted full of confidence after they came runners up at Yeovil in January. Lots of talented players in the ranks and the return of the experienced MD may just signal an all out assault on another potential trip to Kensington.  


CamborneCamborne Town
Conductor:
Frank Renton
4BR Ranking: 50

Last 11 Years:
2006: 2nd (F. Renton)
2005: 5th (F. Renton)
2004: 2nd (F. Renton)
2003: Winners (F. Renton)
2002: 2nd (F. Renton)
2001: Winners (F. Renton)
2000: 6th
1999: 3rd
1998: 2nd
1997: 4th
1996: N/K

Camborne are overdue a win here and in the past three years they have come pretty close on at least two occasions to doing just that. Last year was certainly one such occasion when Frank Renton pulled something out of the hat to gain a priceless qualification place as they went on to come a solid 13th at the finals.

They haven't started this season too well though and came 5th in a pretty average strength field at Yeovil. You never quite know what to expect with this combination though, but they should be there or thereabouts once more if they really play to form. 


LydbrookLydbrook
Conductor:
David Williams
4BR Ranking: 144

Last 11 Years:
2006: 2nd in First Section (J. Berryman) (prom)
2005: 4th (S. Sykes)
2004: 6th (D. Williams)
2003: 8th (B. Hurdley)
2002: 10th (A. Cukshaw)
2001: 10th (S. Lippeatt)
2000: 5th
1999: 9th
1998: 10th in Championship (rel)
1997: 7th in Championship
1996: N/K

Lydbrook return to the Championship Section for the first time since 1998 and they will be keen to make a real mark after eight years away. John Berryman made sure that they claimed a clear cut victory here last year in the First Section and they went on to come a well deserved 5th at Harrogate under Steve Sykes.

The experienced Dave Williams takes the helm this time and even though another qualification may be out of the question, a top six place may not.   


Mount CharlesMount Charles
Conductor:
Andrew Duncan
4BR Ranking: 22

Last 11 Years:

2006: Winners (N. Childs)
2005: 4th (R. Newsome)
2004: Winners (N. Childs)
2003: 5th (J. Hinckley)
2002: 4th (B. Hurdley)
2001: 5th (B. Hurdley)
2000: 4th
1999: 8th
1998: 5th
1997: 5th
1996: N/K

No Dr Childs this year to spearhead Mount Charles to glory and that has in the past been a handicap which the band has sometimes failed to overcome. They will have to play to form and use the top two inches between their ears to put them in the right frame of mind if they are to return to London for sure.

The reigning champions were good value for their win last year and put in a solid showing at the Finals in coming 9th under Nigel Weeks. No appearance at either Butlins or Yeovil, so there can be no excuse for not having plenty of time to prepare their challenge. It would be a major coup for the band if they retain their title and the well thought out move to engage the talented Andrew Duncan from Scotland may prove to be the key to that success.  


PolysteelPolySteel
Conductor:
Philip Harper
4BR Ranking: 17

Last 11 Years:
2006: 3rd (P. Harper)
2005: 3rd (P. Harper)
2004: 6th (P. Harper)
2003: 2nd (P. Harper)
2002: 3rd (P. Harper)
2001: 2nd (R. Evans)
2000: Winners
1999: 2nd
1998: 4th
1997: Winners
1996: N/K

No win here since 2000 and no qualification for the past two years is something of a mystery for a band that has the potential to mix it with the very best in the country on their day.

That said, they were very unlucky to come up against two inspired performances last year to rob them and they showed very good form at Butlins earlier in the season without gaining just reward. They did win at Yeovil although that was expected, but they will be desperate to at least gain a qualification place this year and show the banding world that for all the razzmatazz they are a fine test piece contesting band too.

If they click then they should have the quality to do just that and more, but any wobbles and they could be out in the cold again.  


Poole Borough
Conductor:
Phil Randell
4BR Ranking: Outside top 200

Last 11 Years:
2006: 6th in First Section (P. Randell) (prom)
2005: 5th (P. Randell)
2004: 3rd (P. Randell)
2003: 12th (P. Randell)
2002: 6th (P. Randell)
2001: 5th (A. Carcary)
2000: 11th
1999: 3rd
1998: 8th
1997: 8th
1996: N/K

Nice to see the talented Phil Randell conducting here in the Championship Section. He has done some pretty sterling work with Poole over the last few years giving them a consistency that was rewarded with promotion, even though they didn't play to the best of their form last time out.

They will need to be on top form if they are to make a mark against some pretty stiff opposition, but they should be well prepared and confident of taking at least a couple of scalps.


SherborneSherborne Town
Conductor:
Paul Cosh
4BR Ranking: Outside top 200

Last 11 Years:
2006: 11th (P. Cosh)
2005: 3rd in First Section (prom) (P. Cosh)
2004: 5th (P. Cosh)
2003: 5th (M. Portman)
2002: 12th (B. Buckley)
2001: 9th (G. Key)
2000: 9th
1999: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
1998: 6th in Second Section
1997: 6th in Second Section
1996: N/K

Paul Cosh leads Sherborne once more and they will be looking to move a couple of places up the prize table this year to stave off any potential threat of relegation.

That could be hard work although they did show enough glimpses of quality about them 12 months ago to suggest that if they have improved then they could just about save their necks. Could be a hard day at the office though.  


St AustellSt. Austell
Conductor:
David Loukes
4BR Ranking: 115

Last 11 Years:
2006: 8th (D. Loukes)
2005: 2nd (D. Loukes)
2004: 5th (D. Loukes)
2003: 7th (M. White)
2002: Winners of First Section (prom) (M. White)
2001: 8th in First Section (M. White)
2000: DNC (rel)
1999: 7th
1998: 9th
1997: 5th in First Section (prom)
1996: Winners of First Section

David Loukes and his young band continue to provide great entertainment and plenty of music on their travels, but they found life a bit tough last year and could only manage 8th place.

They will be hoping to improve on that this time around, although a second trip to the Royal Albert Hall in three years is perhaps asking a bit much of them given the strength of the opposition. Not too good at Yeovil either where they were very disappointing in coming 11th against some pretty mediocre opposition. Time for a return to form then. 


woodfallsSWT Woodfalls
Conductor:
Dr. Nicholas Childs
4BR Ranking: 34  

Last 11 Years:
2006: 4th (G. Cutt)
2005: 6th (D. Barringer)
2004: 4th (S. Bastable)
2003: 4th (S. Bastable)
2002: Winners (G. Cutt)
2001: 3rd (P. Parkes)
2000: 3rd
1999: 5th
1998: Winners
1997: 6th
1996: 2nd

This could be the most interesting combination to listen out for this weekend. Dr Childs takes the step of teaming up with SWT Woodfalls and those who know the Black Dyke man know that he only puts his reputation on the line if he feels he has a real chance of success with a band that can respond to his exacting standards.

Woodfalls can blow hot and cold at times, but when they do click they sound a fine band indeed. Last year they were just off the pace in coming 4th but they were none too impressive in coming 8th at Yeovil either, so what does Torquay hold in store? Another regional win the first since 2002, or a one off association that ends in disappointment?  


YeovilYeovil Town
Conductor:
Dave Barringer
4BR Ranking: 136

Last 11 Years:
2006: 7th (D. Barringer)
2005: 10th (I. McElligott)
2004: 3rd (I. McElligott)
2003: 3rd (I. McElligott)
2002: 6th (P. Bailey)
2001: 4th (P. Bailey)
2000: 2nd in First Section (prom)
1999: 10th in First Section
1998: Winners of First Section
1997: Winners of Second Section (prom)
1996: Winners of Third Section (prom)

Yeovil have a pretty good record here in recent years, even though in 2005 and last year they were just off the pace a little.

Dave Barringer is a hard working MD who will surely bring the best out of his troops, but they will need a touch more inspiration to go with the perspiration if they are to feature in and around the podium places once more.   


Past Qualifiers:

2006: Mount Charles, Camborne
2005: Bournemouth Concert Brass, St. Austell Town
2004: Mount Charles, Camborne
2003: Camborne Town, Flowers
2002: SWT Woodfalls, Camborne Town
2001: Camborne Town, Flowers
2000: Flowers, Bodmin
1999: Bodmin, Flowers
1998: SWT Woodfalls, Camborne
1997: Flowers, Bodmin
1996: Sun Life, SWT Woodfalls
1995: Sun Life, Flowers
1994: Flowers, Camborne, Sun Life*
1993: Sun Life, Camborne
1992: Sun Life, Bodmin
1991: Flowers Gloucester, Sun Life
1990: Camborne Town, Bodmin
1989: Sun Life, Camborne

*Pre Qualified 


How West of England bands did in London:

2006:  9th, 13th
2005: 13th, 19th
2004: 7th, 9th
2003: 11th, 16th
2002: 18th, 19th
2001: 9th, 19th
2000: 15th, 16th
1999: 14th, 16th
1998: 9th, 16th
1997: 10th, 12th
1996: 9th, 15th
1995: 11th, 14th
1994: 4th, 11th, 17th
1993: 3rd, 18th
1992: 6th, 7th
1991: 11th, 13th
1990: 8th, 22nd
1989: 12th, 13th  


4BR Prediction:

This is going to be one heck of a contest if all the fancied bands play to form. Can Mount Charles finally put the Torquay voodoo of reigning champions behind them and retain their title, or will once more a new champion be crowned? 

We think it could be the latter once again and PolySteel are due both a bit of good fortune and a cracking unbeatable performance here. That's if the brass band Gods and the bands mind set are right if not and they could miss out again. Mount Charles should pose a strong challenge once more and Camborne should be hot on their heels and we think could well just pip them for the second qualification place. SWT Woodfalls will surely be inspired by having the Black Dyke MD at the helm, and if they really hit form they too could be well in the mix if not, then they could miss out.
It's any two from these four for us, although Bournemouth shouldn't be discounted by any means and St Austell should be more than good enough to make it into the top six at least. Yeovil may be a good bet as a dark horse.

1. PolySteel
2. Camborne
3. Mount Charles
4. SWT Woodfalls
5. Bournemouth Concert
6. St. Austell

Dark Horse: Yeovil

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