2007 Midlands Regional Championship - Fourth Section

6-Mar-2007

A big field for this one, and picking a winner will be a difficult task. It will be a fine day’s contesting though with plenty for both bands and audience to enjoy in Philip Wilby’s The Seasons.


Sunday 11th March
Adjudicator: David Horsfield & Steve Pritchard-Jones
Test Piece: The Seasons - Philip Wilby
Commences: 10.00am
Split Draw: 9.00am & 12.00pm


AmingtonAmington
Conductor:
W. Kendrick

Last 10 Years:
2006: 2nd (W. Kendrick)
2005: DNC
2004: 16th

Wesley Kendrick will often be seen on the back cornet bench of Staffordshire Band but today it is Amington that will be benefiting from his experience as their MD. Second last year was an excellent result for the band given their absence in 2005 and a very creditable tenth place followed in Harrogate amongst a big field of twenty two bands.

They will start today as one of the favourites and have a strong chance of lifting the trophy if they play to form.  


BestwoodBestwood Black Diamonds
Conductor:
Brian Draper

Last 10 Years:
2006: =18th (B. Draper)
2005: 10th (B. Draper)

Bestwood Black Diamonds are one of the few Midlands Fourth Section bands that will go into the Regional with existing 2007 contest form. The band achieved an excellent third place at Butlins, a result that will give the band some useful morale after a very disappointing regional finish last year.

Brian Draper will be keen to recapture Butlins form and if he succeeds the band could see a big improvement on last year's result.  


BurbageBurbage (Buxton)
Conductor:
S. Critchlow

Last 10 Years:
2006: 6th (S. Critchlow)

Burbage (Buxton) turned in a solid performance of Alan Fernie's Anglian Dances last year to earn a very respectable sixth place.

Since then there is little recent contest form to go on but the band will be hoping to mount a serious challenge on the prize winning places and the possibility of a trip to Harrogate. 


Corby Silver
Conductor:
K. Espin

Last 10 Years:
2006: DNC
2005: 12th (C. Stevens)
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: 14th
2001: 6th
2000: 13th
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

It's good to see Corby Silver back in the fray again. Given that the band have been unable to compete on numerous occasions current form is difficult to gauge but the band will be determined to emulate their best ever finish of sixth back in 2001.  


CreswellCreswell Colliery
Conductor:
Rob Woffinden

Last 10 Years:
2006: 8th (R. Woffinden)
2005: DNC
2004: 14th (A.Wood)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Cresswell Colliery is another band that has not been a continual presence at the Regional Championships but they do have recent form on the contest stage with a ninth place at Butlins. Eighth was a very respectable result in a big field last year and the band is perfectly capable of improving on that position this time round.  


CroftCroft Silver
Conductor:
Steve Burton

Last 10 Years:
2006: 17th (S. Burton)
2005: 18th in Third Section (rel) (S. Burton)
2004: DNC
2003: 11th (C. Jones)
2002: 17th in Second Section (rel)
2001: 11th in Second Section
2000: 20th in Second Section
1999: 7th in Second Section
1998: 7th in Second Section
1997: 3rd in Third Section (prom)

It seems like no time since Croft Silver were competing in the Second Section but the years since relegation from the Second in 2002 have not always been easy. Seventeenth last year after relegation from the Third Section would have been immensely disappointing for the band although they are due for a revival of their fortunes. Steve Burton will be hoping to push his band into the top half of the table this time round.  


CubbingtonCubbington
Conductor: Paul Johnson

Last 10 Years:
2006: 7th (P. Johnson)
2005: 8th (P. Johnson)

Paul Johnson's band from Leamington Spa have seen two consistent years at Burton and will be gunning for a top six spot this time round. There are some seasoned players around the stands and whilst not hot favourites, if they play to form we reckon Cubbington could have a reasonable chance of figuring in the top six at the end of the day. 


Dunchurch Silver
Conductor:
Mark Dutton

Last 10 Years:
2006: DNC
2005: 15th (N. Thompson)
2004: 11th (N. Thompson)
2003: 10th (G. Smallwood)
2002: 13th (G. Smallwood)
2001: 12th (G. Smallwood)
2000: 16th (N/K)
1999: 10th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Dunchurch Silver was missing from the running last year and it's good to have the Warwickshire band back in contention. Historically the band has struggled to make a mark on the Regional Championships and consequently will have its sights set on a single figure finish and bucking the trend of previous bottom half positions.  


Fairfield (Buxton)
Conductor:
C. Kitchen

Last 10 Years:
2006: 16th in Third Section (C. Kitchen) (rel)
2005: 19th (C. Kitchen)
2004: 13th (C. Kitchen)
2003: 19th (C. Kitchen)
2002: 11th
2001: 19th
2000: 15th
1999: 4th
1998: 4th in Third Section (prom)
1997: 8th in Third Section

After a good stint in the Third Section, Fairfield (Buxton) suffered relegation in 2006 and will be aiming to get themselves back to the Third as soon as they possibly can. The band is perfectly capable of a good placing although competition will still be tough and the band will need to be at its best.    


Hathern 'B'
Conductor:
Mike Cooper

Last 10 Years:
2006: 13th (M. Cooper)
2005: 19th (M. Cooper)
2004: DNC
2003: 16th (M. Cooper)
2002: 12th (G. Wood)
2001: 20th (K. Leonard)
2000: DNC

Thirteenth last year was a significant step forward for Hathern "B" and Mike Cooper returns with the band this year on a mission to march into the top half of the table. If the band can emulate last year's form a middle order finish could be on the cards.  


Ilkeston Brass
Conductor:
Dave Jones

Last 10 Years:
2006: =18th (D. Jones)
2005: 6th (D. Jones)
2004: 5th (D. Jones)
2003: 15th in Third Section (rel) (D. Jones)
2002: 17th (D. Jones)
2001: 18th in Second Section (rel) (D. Jones)
2000: 19th in Second Section
1999: 12th in Second Section
1998: 13th in Second Section
1997: 18th in Second Section

Sadly it has been a downward slide for Ilkeston in recent years although following relegation to the Fourth Section in 2003, the band showed every sign of being capable of returning to Third Section banding swiftly. The train juddered to a halt in Burton last year however with a disappointing eighteenth position. A major improvement will be required to haul the band into the upper half of the table but past history shows that the band have done it before.   


Ireland Colliery (Chesterfield)
Conductor:
Ian Knapton

Last 10 Years:
2006: =20th (I. Knapton)
2005: 17th (I. Knapton)
2004: 15th (I. Knapton)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Ireland Colliery will need to show a little of the fighting spirit if they are to reverse their fortunes of last year. Ian Knapton will be hoping to get the band back to at least the placing they achieved on their first Regional outing back in 2004. 


Market RasenMarket Rasen RPC
Conductor:
Alan Needham

Last 10 Years:
2006: 14th (A. Needham)
2005: 3rd (B. Mathews)
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: 9th in Third Section (rel)
2001: 7th
2000: 14th
1999: 11th
1998: 3rd in Fourth Section
1997: 5th in Fourth Section

Market Rasen is one band that has seen a substantial reversal of fortunes since last year's Regional outing. Fourteenth would have been something of a let down for the band after a fine third the previous year but a recent second at Butlins will have the band fired up and ready get back to the kind of form we know they are capable of.


Melton Borough
Conductor:
C. Hartley

Last 10 Years:
2006: =22nd (C. Hartley)
2005: 18th (C. Hartley)

It is to be hoped that the only way is up for Melton and the band will surely be on a mission to improve on last year's result. Enthusiasm will be there in abundance though.   


Newstead YouthNewstead Youth
Conductor:
P. Whyley

Last Ten Years:
2006: 3rd (P. Whyley)

With Newstead Welfare emerging victorious in the Championship Section last year, Newstead Youth's excellent third place capped off a fine weekend for the Newstead camp.

Third place was all the more impressive for it being the band's Regional debut and with sights set on the top two this year the Third Section could beckon for Newstead's talented youngsters.   


Ratby Co-op 'Mid' Band
Conductor:
G. Newman

Last 10 Years:
2006: 10th (G. Newman)
2005: 17th in Third Section (rel) (G. Newman)
2004: 18th (G Newman)
2003: 9th (G. Newman)
2002: 16th
2001: 8th in Fourth Section (prom)
2000: 10th in Fourth Section
1999: 12th in Fourth Section
1998: 14th in Fourth Section
1997: DNC

Ratby Co-Op "Mid" will have their sights set on Third Section banding once again after falling through the trop door two years ago. The band is certainly capable of bettering last year's tenth although an eighteenth finish at Pontins was something of a setback to their ambitions.    


Rolls Royce (Derby)
Conductor:
G. Cardwell

Last 10 Years:
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: =16th (M. Heywood)
2003: 13th (N. Eden)
2002: 9th
2001: 14th
2000: 7th
1999: 25th
1998: 9th
1997: 8th

Rolls Royce (Derby) is another band that returns to the fray after two years in the Regional wilderness. Results in the past have seen the band finish as high as seventh and with a new MD in the middle hopes will be high.   


RushdenRushden Town
Conductor:
P. Lewsey

Last 10 Years:
2006: 11th (P. Lewsey)
2005: 13th (P. Vine)

Phil Lewsey is an MD with many years experience and helped steer Rushden Town to a very respectable mid table finish last year. The band have little in the way of recent contest form that we can draw on but we reckon they might just be a band to keep an ear open for this year. 


ShipstonShipston Town
Conductor:
H. Gibbs

Last 10 Years:
2006: 5th (H. Gibbs)
2005: 16th (H. Gibbs)
2004: 17th  (D. Grant) (rel)
2003: 18th (G. Coleman)
2002: 20th in Second Section (rel)
2001: DNC
2000: 13th in Second Section
1999: 5th in Third Section (prom)
1998: 6th in Third Section
1997: 9th in Third Section

If trombonist turned MD Howard Gibbs plays his cards right he could be on for something of a double wammy this year. His other band, Moulton 77 Brass, is one of our fancied bands in the Third Section whilst Shipston Town achieved an impressive fifth in a large Fourth Section field last year. It was a massive improvement on the previous year and a place in the prizes could be a serious prospect if the band can maintain the same kind of form. 


SwinesheadSwineshead Silver
Conductor:
S. Drew

Last 10 Years:
2006: =22nd (S. Drew)
2005: 20th (K. Edwards)
2004: 13th (D. Stephens)
2003: 14th (D. Stephens)
2002: 18th (D. Stephens)
2001: 19th (D. Stephens)
2000: 24th (D. Stephens)
1999: 24th
1998: DNC

It's been a difficult couple of years for Swineshead on a Regional level but the band has finished as high as thirteenth in the past. This could just be the year that the band recreates the kind of form that could earn them a mid table finish.


ThoresbyThoresby Youth
Conductor:
Christine Gent

Last 10 Years:
2006: =20th (C. Gent)

It was good to see Thoresby Youth make their first appearance at Burton last year but even better to know that Christine Gent and her band emerged triumphant as the Fourth Section victors at Butlins just a few short weeks ago. If Butlins form can be maintained this could be a special day indeed for the Thoresby youngsters.  


TrenthamTrentham Brass
Conductor:
M. Caveney

Last 10 Years:
2006: 12th (M. Caveney)
2005: 11th (M. Cavaney)

Consistency has been the name of the game for Trentham Brass over the last two years with respectable mid table finishes. 2007 could be the year that the band makes real progress towards the top six.  


elbeckWelbeck Estates
Conductor:
Trevor Iles

Last Ten Years:
2006: 19th (T. Iles)

A Tricky start to the year for Trevor Iles and Welbeck Estates after finishing bottom of the pile at Butlins.

The band will have the bit between its teeth here though as the players will no doubt feel they have a point to prove.  


WhitwellWhitwell Brass
Conductor:
D. Fretwell

Last 10 Years:
2006: 17th in Third Section (D. Fretwell) (rel)
2005: 14th (K. Vernon)
2004: 16th (K. Vernon)
2003: 13th (K. Vernon)
2002: 15th
2001: 4th in Fourth Section (prom)
2000: 11th in Fourth Section
1999: 15th in Fourth Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Whitwell have seen an encouraging start to life in the Fourth Section with a fourth place at Butlins behind Thoresby Youth, Market Rasen and Bestwood Black Diamonds, all of whom they compete against once again at Burton. It will be interesting to see which of the bands win the battle for supremacy this time around with Whitwell certainly have a good chance of a top six finish.     


Past Qualifiers:
2006: Wellington (Telford), Amington, Newstead Youth
2005: Matlock, Wellington (Telford), Market Rasen*
2004: Rushden Windmill, Newhall and Matlock
2003: Phoenix West Midlands Brass, Long Eaton Silver, Bakewell Silver
2002: WEM Jubilee, Leicester Cooperative, Long Eaton
2001: Carlton Brass, Shirland Miners Training, West Mercia Constabulary
2000: Raunds Temperance, Malvern Hills
1999: Audley Brass, Malvern Hills, Raunds Temperance
1998: University of Warwick, Porthywaen
1997: Porthywaen, Newham
1996: Alcester Victoria, Chapel en le Frith
1995: Kirkby Colliery, Rushden Windmill, Chapel en le Frith
1994: Banovallum Brass, Kirkby Colliery

* Market Rasen did not compete at Finals 


Midlands bands at the Finals:
2006: 10th, 11th, 20th
2005: 12th, 17th
2004: 7th, 11th, 5th
2003: 2nd, 9th, 12th
2002: 6th, 9th, 18th
2001: 1st, 5th, 6th
2000: 3rd, 6th
1999: 11th, 16th, 19th
1998: 4th, 9th  


4BR Prediction:

A notoriously difficult task of choosing the winners and qualifiers as always in the Fourth Section, particularly given that there are a number of bands quite capable of lifting the title.

Ultimately we think the experience of Wes Kendrick and Amington could come through although it's going to be a close run thing. Newstead Youth, Market Rasen and Thoresby Youth have all seen good contest form of late whilst Fairfield (Buxton) and Whitwell will be up for the task.

There are several other bands that could be up there though, including Cubbington, Shipston and Cresswell Colliery and don't forget our dark horses.    

1. Amington
2. Newstead Youth
3. Market Rasen RPC
4. Thoresby Youth
5. Fairfield (Buxton)
6. Whitwell Brass

Dark Horses: Rushden Town, Cresswell Colliery and Trentham Brass. 

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