2007 Welsh Regional Championship - Fourth Section

13-Mar-2007

A good turn out of bands here shows that there is a promising future for Welsh banding. The Seasons is a fine test for all the bands here, but which pair will be looking for Autumn accommodation in Yorkshire?


Sunday 18th March
Adjudicator: Lloyd Landry
Test Piece: The Seasons - Philip Wilby

Commences: 11.00am
Draw: 10.00am
 


Abergynolwyn
Conductor:
A. Williams

Last 11 Years:
2006: 10th (A. Williams)
2005: 11th (A. Williams)
2004: 10th (A. Williams)

Abergynolwyn has been making the trip here for the past three years and on each occasion they have produced a performance that is full of merit. More of the same perhaps this year but you never know – a possible top six if they can just up their form a touch may be on the cards?  


Blaenafon Concert
Conductor:
P. O'Leary

Last 11 Years:
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: 12th (A. Hicks)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: 12th
1998: N/K in Fourth Section
1997: N/K in Fourth Section
1996: N/K

Watch out for this band. The small town of Blaenavon has two bands and after three years away the second ‘Concert' band return under the baton of the talented Patrick O'Leary who has been working his socks off developing his players. They are now ready – and we think it won't be last time we hear from them or the MD and they came 3rd in the Fourth Section in Treorchy on their debut there.  


CrosskeysCrosskeys Silver
Conductor:
Keri Bowden

Last 11 Years:
2006: 2nd (K. Bowden)
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: 7th (K. Bowden) (rel)
2002: DNC
2001: 5th
2000: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)
1999: 6th in Fourth Section
1998: 2nd in Fourth Section
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

The experienced Keri Bowden has done a tremendous job revitalizing the fortunes of the Crosskeys Band, who were once a top section band here and former Second Section winners way back in 1981. Last year they were runners up and went on to come 19th at the finals. They will fancy their chances of returning there once again.    Joint Welsh League champions, they have a fine young youth band developing and were placed 2nd in the Third Section at Treorchy late last year.


Crwbin
Conductor:
Ceri John

Last 11 Years:
2006: 14th (A. Jones)
2005: 10th (A. Jones)
2004: 13th (A. Jones)
2003: 13th (J. Jones)
2002: 12th (J. Jones)
2001: 11th (J. Jones)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

The talented Ceri John (who will also be playing euphonium this weekend with Burry Port) takes over the helm at Crwbin (pronounced as in the actor Bernard Cribben) and they will both be keen to reverse recent results here which saw them drop to 14th place last year. We think they may well do just that.  They came 4th in the Third Section at Treorchy late last year.


CwmbranCwmbran Brass
Conductor:
Andrew Lucas

Last 11 Years:
2006: DNC (rel)
2005: DNC (rel)
2004: 7th in Second Section (J. Burns)
2003: 9th (J. Burns)
2002: 5th
2001: 2nd in Third Section (prom)
2000: 5th in Third Section
1999: 5th in Third Section
1998: 8th in Third Section
1997: 4th in Third Section
1996: N/K

The former Cwmbran Band make a very welcome return under the baton of Andrew Lucas who has put heart and soul into bringing Cwmbran back to the contest stage. We wish him well as he has the talent and the ambition to make it work, and work well.  A great youth dset up developing young players and they showed that to full effect at the Cross Keys Youth Contest earlier this year.


Ebbw Vale
Conductor:
Chris Thomas

Last 11 Years:
2006: 9th (J. Rooke)
2005: DNC
2004: 7th (B. Davies)
2003: 8th (A. Browning)
2002: 7th
2001: 6th
2000: 7th in Second Section (rel)
1999: 10th in Second Section
1998: Winners of Third Section (prom)
1997: 11th in Second Section (rel)
1996: 6th in Second Section

Chris Thomas leads Ebbw Vale this year and they could be a band to look out for. The talented MD has certainly been putting the hard graft in and picking up the vibes from other areas too. Plenty of great young players in the ranks (as well as a few older heads), they could well push for a podium place come the results.   4th in the Welsh League last year and 2nd in the Fourth Section at Treorchy.


Gwaun Cae Gurwen
Conductor:
G. Davies

Last 11 Years:
2006: 5th (G. Rhys Davies)
2005: 5th (R. Williams)
2004: 6th (R. Williams)
2003: 10th (R. Williams)
2002: 10th (R. Williams)
2001: 10th in Third Section (rel) (T. Charlton)
2000: 7th in Third Section (T. Charlton)
1999: 12th in Third Section
1998: 10th in Second Section (rel)
1997: 8th in Second Section
1996: 11th in Second Section

A great old name from Welsh banding has been making solid progress in the last few years and perhaps ready to make a mark on the results once again. 5th place last year was a fine return for a fine little performance and we can expect more of the same if they play to form.  6th in the Third Section at Treorchy and both 3rd in the Third Section and 2nd in the Fourth Section at the National Eisteddfod.


Gwernaffield
Conductor:
M. Robinson

Last 11 Years:
2006: 11th (M. Robinson)

Nice to see Gwernaffield return once more to Swansea and we are sure they will want to make even more of an impression than they did last year with a well constructed performance in coming 11th. Let's hope they do just that.   They bring good form after winning the Fourth Section at the North Wales Championship.


NewportNewport Borough
Conductor:
M. Davies

Last 11 Years:
2006: 8th (M. Davies)
2005: 12th (M. Davies)
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 6th in Second Section (rel) (A. Williams)
2000: 7th in Second Section (L. Baglin)
1999: 6th in Second Section
1998: 4th in Second Section
1997: 4th in Second Section
1996: 10th in Second Section

Newport Borough are moving in the right direction it seems and after coming 8th here last year they rounded off their year by coming 14th at Pontins. They have been as high as the Second Section, so another step in that direction this year would be welcome.    3rd in the Fourth Section at Treorchy and their fine youth band came 2nd at the recent Crosskeys Youth Contest.


Oakdale Silver
Conductor:
Ron Probyn

Last 11 Years:
2006: 12th (R. Probyn)
2005: 9th (R. Probyn)
2004: DNC
2003: 8th (R. Probyn)
2002: 4th (R. Probyn)
2001: 11th in Third Section (rel) (R. Probyn)
2000: 11th in Third Section (R. Probyn)
1999: 11th in Third Section
1998: 3rd in Third Section
1997: 13th in Third Section
1996: 4th in Third Section

Ron Probyn is one of the real unsung heroes of the South Wales banding movement and he continues to do tremendous work at Oakdale. They may have been off the pace here last year but you can be sure, Ron and his bad will have worked their socks off and will come well prepared and full of confidence.


Pontypool Brass
Conductor:
P. Hallahan

Last 11 Years:
2006: 6th (J. Pippen)
2005: 4th (J. Pippen)
2004: 9th (M. Jones)
2003: 9th in Third Section (rel) (M. Jones)
2002: 6th (M. Jones)
2001: DNC
2000: 3rd in Third Section (A. Williams)
1999: 8th in Second Section (rel)
1998: 9th in Second Section
1997: 6th in Second Section
1996: 7th in Second Section

Pontypool Brass has been moving back in the right direction of late and they were good value for their 6th place under Brighouse's Jonathan Pippen here last year. If they can improve on that this time around under their new MD then they could well be looking at a Finals place and possible promotion.  They came 4th in the Third Section at Treorchy.


Upper Rhondda
Conductor:
R. Griffiths

Last 11 Years:
2006: 7th (J. Tanaka)
2005: 14th (W. Williams)

A famous name from youth banding over the years, Upper Rhondda are now back on the contest stage and have shown remarkable progress in the past two years. Another seven step leap up the table this year could well see then return home up the valleys crowned as champions. You never know?  Winners at Treorchy under the baton of Nigel Seaman.


Past Qualifiers:
2006: Llwydcoed, Crosskeys Silver
2005: Royal Oakley, Llwydcoed
2004: Radyr and Morganstown, Goodwick Brass
2003: Harlech, Ogmore Valley
2002: Conway Town, Porthaethwy Menai Bridge
2001: Llanelli and District, Briton Ferry
2000: Beaumaris B, Crosskeys
1999: Harlech, Blaenavon Town
1998: Llanrug, Cross Keys
1997: Glyneath, Royal Oakeley
1996: Royal Oakeley, Newbridge Celynen
1995: Royal Oakeley, Llanelli Town 


Welsh bands at the Finals:
2006: 3rd, 19th
2005: 10th, 11th
2004: 4th, 18th
2003: 6th, 8th
2002: 5th, 7th
2001: 4th, 18th
2000: 1st, 18th
1999: 3rd, 10th
1998: 14th, 16th  


4BR Prediction:

This Fourth Section this year continues to show signs of development and it should provide Lloyd Landry with an enjoyable old time of it on his old stamping ground. A close matched field could see any one of a number of bands leaving here with the title.

We go for Cross Keys to win this year closely followed by Ebbw Vale with Upper Rhondda and Crwbin close behind. Newport should be there or thereabouts too with Pontypool Brass and Oakdale. 

1. Cross Keys
2. Ebbw Vale
3. Upper Rhondda
4. Crwbin
5. Newport Borough
6. Pontypool Brass

Dark Horse: Oakdale

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