2008 Yorkshire Regional Championship - Championship Section: Runners & Riders

25-Feb-2008

A fantastic contest is in prospect here as the 12 bands tackle Festival Music. With two already booked into their hotels for October there should be a tremendous scrap to see who joins them.


St Georges HallDate: Sunday 2nd March
Adjudicators: David Read & Peter Bassano

Test Piece: Festival Music – Eric Ball 
 

Commences: 5.30pm
Draw: 4.00pm

 


Black DykeBlack Dyke
Conductor:
Dr. Nicholas Childs
4BR Ranking:  4

Last 11 Years:
2007: 3rd (N. Childs)
2006: 2nd (N. Childs)
2005: 2nd  (N. Childs)
2004: 2nd (N. Childs)
2003: 13th (N. Childs)
2002: Winners (N. Childs)
2001: Winners (N. Childs)
2000: 3rd (J. Watson)
1999: 7th
1998: Winners
1997: 5th 

Strange to report, but Bradford isn’t the greatest of hunting grounds for Black Dyke and Dr Nicholas Childs in recent years. After two consecutive wins in 2001 and 2002, they have experienced a few ups and downs since – 13th in 2003 and failing to make any sort of impression on the judges last year after what many people thought was a winning performance.

With a busy year of contesting ahead they will surely like to get things off to a winning start and much is expected. Just as usual then… 


BrighouseBrighouse & Rastrick
Conductor:
Alan Morrison
4BR Ranking:  5

Last 11 Years:
2007: Winners (A. Morrison)
2006: 5th (J. Gourlay)
2005: 4th (J. Gourlay)
2004: 3rd (J. Gourlay)
2003: Winners  (I. McElligott)
2002: 3rd (A. Withington)
2001: 3rd (A. Withington)
2000: 5th (A. Withington)
1999: 2nd
1998: 7th
1997: Winners

Last year’s winners return to see if they can hold onto their title for the first time since they did it way back in 1951/52. Wonder what the odds are at the Bradford bookies for another double then?

They should be confident though after they finished 2007 in such fine style and impressed at the recent RNCM Festival of Brass with a concert of high class playing under Alan Morrison. On paper it may not a piece that looks like suiting them, but things have changed in West Riding of late and a reinvigorated, and a less red meat diet Briggus, could be the band to beat.   


Carlton MainCarlton Main Frickley Colliery
Conductor:
Russell Gray
4BR Ranking: 13

Last 11 Years:
2007: 4th (R. Gray)
2006: 7th (A. Ramsay)
2005: 8th (B. Grant)
2004: 8th (W. Rushworth)
2003: 10th (W. Rushworth)
2002: 9th (J. Hinckley)
2001: 10th (J. Hinckley)
2000: 10th (J. Hinckley)
1999: Winners
1998: 9th
1997: 4th 

Oddish times of late at Carlton Main what with the non appointment of Derek Broadbent, but there is no mistaking the fact that they are a band in the ascendant once again.

Last year they were good value for fourth place and were perhaps a touch unlucky to miss out on the trip to London. With Russell Gray at the helm they should be confident once more and allied to some well placed signings they could make it back to London for the first time since 1999.  


GrimeyGrimethorpe Colliery
Conductor:
Allan Withington
4BR Ranking: 2

Last 11 Years:
2007: 8th (A. Withington)
2006: Winners (A. Withington)
2005: Winners (R. Evans)
2004: 5th (F. Renton)
2003: 5th  (J. Gourlay)
2002: 2nd (J. Gourlay)
2001: 4th (G. Cutt)
2000: 2nd (G. Cutt)
1999: DNC
1998: 3rd
1997: DNC

Now then. Last year Grimey were rubbish and fully deserved to come where they did. However, come the finals, where it really mattered to them, they were brilliant and walked it, crushing the opposition. So what band will turn out here this time?

On their day they can be unbeatable – and that does tend to happen more often that not on the big occasions. However if it doesn’t take their fancy then who knows? We think the chance to regain a touch of local pride will be incentive enough, so watch out.   


 

HepworthHepworth (Cookson Homes)
Conductor:
Mark Bentham
4BR Ranking: 16

Last 11 Years:
2007: 2nd (M. Bentham)
2006: 6th (M. Bentham)
2005: 5th (M. Bentham)
2004: 9th (M. Bentham)
2003: 11th (M. Bentham)
2002: 5th (M. Bentham)
2001: 9th (A. Duncan)
2000: 9th (N. Law)
1999: 5th
1998: 5th in First Section (prom)
1997: 3rd in First Section

Hepworth blew a little hot and cold during the 2007 season – the banding equivalent of a dodgy thermostat in the shower, but when they were hot, by heck they scorched the skin off your back.

Mark Bentham and his band are quick learners too – mistakes tend not to be repeated, whilst they have the real ability and quality to build on good performances too. One such performance was here last year and with an experienced team of players around the stands this could bode very well for the weekend – as long as they have fixed their plumbing.  


MarsdenMarsden Silver (Ossett Brass)
Conductor
: Glyn Williams
4BR Ranking: 69

Last 11 Years:
2007: 12th (G. Williams)
2006: 2nd in First Section (G. Willlams) (prom)
2005: 3rd (G. Williams)
2004: 6th (A. Widdop)
2003: 14th in Championship Section (A. Widdop) (rel)
2002: 15th in Championship Section (A. Widdop)
2001: 5th in First Section (A. Widdop) (prom)
2000: 3rd in First Section (A. Widdop)
1999: 6th in Second Section (prom)
1998: 3rd in Second Section
1997: Winners of Third Section (prom) 

Glyn Williams and Marsden found out just how tough life could be here last year when they performed well enough but still only managed to come 12th. The step up in class from First to Championship is a big one, although they finished 2007 in style by coming runners up at Pontins.

However, that experience will do them the world of good and they will come to the contest this year confident of making more of a mark on the results table. There’s quality around the stands and the MD has a well deserved growing reputation, so a few more scalps could well be taken.  


PenninePennine Brass
Conductor:
Ray Farr
4BR Ranking: 39

Last 11 Years:
2007: 2nd in First Section (I. Porthouse) (prom)
2006: 5th (I. Porthouse)
2005: 11th in Championship Section  (I. Porthouse) (rel)
2004: 7th (I. Porthouse)
2003: 12th (I. Porthouse)
2002: 10th (I. Porthouse)
2001: 2nd in First Section (I. Porthouse) (prom)
2000: Winners of Second Section (I. Porthouse)
 
No Ian Porthouse at the helm this year, but the band has made a very sensible appointment in Ray Farr who brings a wealth of experience to the podium. 

The band were excellent in winning the First Section national title at Harrogate, but as Marsden found out last year there is still a gulf between the best there and the real contenders at the elite level here. Don’t bet against them making a mark though, especially if Ray Farr can instil the sense of musicality that he brought out of Krohnengen at the recent Norwegian championships. That would really pay dividends.  


HatfieldPowerfuel Hatfield
Conductor:
Graham O'Connor
4BR Ranking: 45

Last 11 Years:
2007: 5th (G. O’Connor)
2006: 9th (G. O'Connor)
2005: Winners of First Section (G. O'Connor) (prom)
2004: Winners of First Section (G. O'Connor)
2003: 2nd in Second Section (G. O'Connor) (prom)
2002: 5th (G. O'Connor)
2001: 7th (G. O'Connor)
2000: Winners of Third Section (G. O'Connor) (prom)
1999: 8th (rel)
1998: 6th
1997: 11th 

Powerfuel Hatfield surprised many last year with a strong and purposeful performance that gained them 5th place. That though wasn’t a one off as they went on to enjoy further success through the season – including taking the Pontins title late last year.

If they have continued to build on that then they could well put in another well managed showing under Graham O’Connor, a conductor who will certainly not bring a band under prepared to any contest, let alone here.   


RothwellRothwell Temperance
Conductor:
David Roberts
4BR Ranking: 17

Last 11 Years:
2007: 7th (D. Roberts)
2006: 4th (D. Roberts)
2005: 7th (D. Roberts)
2004: 6th (D. Roberts)
2003: 4th (D. Roberts)
2002: 7th (D. Roberts)
2001: 8th (D. Roberts)
2000: 8th (D. Roberts)
1999: 3rd
1998: Winners of First Section
1997: 2nd in First Section
 
Mr Consistent. Rothwell are always there or thereabouts, but you do have to go back to 1999 for the last time they made it onto the podium here.

On their day though they can more than mix it with the very best and you always get a well prepared and directed performance from David Roberts and his team. Sometimes it appeals, sometimes it doesn’t, but they are always a band that gives you food for thought. Another performance such as 2006 could well be enough for them to enjoy dining out with the best come October. 


StocksbridgeStocksbridge
Conductor:
David Nesbitt
4BR Ranking: 75

Last 11 Years:
2007: Winners of First Section (D. Nesbitt) (prom)
2006: 12th in Championship Section (David Hirst) (rel)
2005: 9th (W. Rushworth)
2004: 11th (D. Renshaw)
2003: 2nd  (D. Renshaw)
2002: 14th (D. Renshaw)
2001: Winners of First Section (D. Renshaw)
2000: Winners of First Section (D. Renshaw)
1999: 12th
1998: DNC
1997: 8th
 
David Nesbitt and his band will know that they will significantly have to up their game if they are to make a real impression here this year on their return to the top division.

However, there was plenty of evidence last year that they have the MD and personnel to do just that and they should be confident of not just making up the numbers here if they really play to form. They did come second at Pontins in the First Section at the end of last year, so its a big ask, but you never know.  


YBSYBS Band
Conductor:
Morgan Griffiths
4BR Ranking: 6

Last 11 Years:
2007: 11th (A. Ramsay)
2006: 3rd (D. King)
2005: 3rd (D. King)
2004: Winners (D. King)
2003: 6th (D. King)
2002: 4th (D. King)
2001: 2nd (D. King)
2000: Winners (D. King)
1999: 6th
1998: 2nd
1997: 3rd
1996: DNC

After the glory years came the rebuilding years and now the time seems right for a return to the prize winning days once again.

YBS has worked exceptionally hard under Morgan Griffiths and there was evidence a plenty during the latter part of 2007 that they were not too far away from once again becoming consistent contenders for the biggest prizes.
Whether or not that could signal a return to the title winning days of 2004 remains to be seen, but they will certainly be in with a shout if they play to form.  


ImpsYorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel
Conductor:
Jim Davies
4BR Ranking: 27

Last 11 Years:
2007: 6th (R. Farr)
2006: 10th (R. Curran)
2005: 2nd in First Section (C. Houlding) (prom)
2004: 13th Championship Section (D. Evans) (rel)
2003: 9th (D. Evans)
2002: 8th (D. Evans)
2001: 7th (T. Wyss)
2000: 7th (T. Wyss)
1999: 8th
1998: 5th
1997: 10th
 
The Imps are the one band here this weekend that has already flexed its contesting muscles in 2008, when they came 6th at the Mineworkers Contest at Skegness.

There they were robust and cohesive, but perhaps a touch rough around the edges at times too. Knowing Jim Davies he will have worked hard to chamfer those edges away for this one and with a fine ensemble sound and talented performers in the ranks they could be well placed to push for a top six finish once again or even claim a victory here for the first time since 1993.  


Past Qualifiers:

2007: Brighouse & Rastrick, Hepworth (Lanson Homes), Black Dyke*, Grimethorpe Colliery*, YBS*
2006: Grimethorpe Colliery*, Black Dyke*, YBS, Rothwell Temperance
2005: Grimethorpe Colliery, Black Dyke*, YBS*, Brighouse and Rastrick
2004: Yorkshire Building Society, Black Dyke*, Brighouse and Rastrick*
2003: Brighouse and Rastrick, Asda Stocksbridge, Black Dyke*
2002: Black Dyke*, Grimethorpe, Brighouse and Rastrick, YBS*
2001: Black Dyke, YBS, Brighouse and Rastrick*
2000: YBS, Grimethorpe Colliery, Brighouse and Rastrick*
1999: Carlton Main, Rothwell Temperance, Brighouse and Rastrick*, YBS*
1998: Black Dyke, YBS, Brighouse and Rastrick*
1997: Brighouse and Rastrick, Wallace Arnold Rothwell, Grimethorpe*
1996: Grimethorpe Colliery, Brighouse and Rastrick, Black Dyke*, YBS*
1995: Brighouse and Rastrick, Sellers Engineering, Black Dyke*, Brighouse and Rastrick*
1994: YBS, Black Dyke
1993: DUT Yorkshire Imperial, British Steel Dodworth, Grimethorpe Colliery*
1992: Brighouse and Rastrick, Grimethorpe Colliery
1991: Grimethorpe Colliery, Stocksbridge Engineering, IMI Yorkshire Imperial
1990: Black Dyke, Sellers Engineering, Stocksbridge Engineering
1989: Brighouse and Rastrick, Black Dyke, Grimethorpe Colliery 

*Pre Qualified 


How Yorkshire bands did in London:

2007: 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 16th
2006: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 14th
2005: 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th
2004: 1st, 2nd, 14th
2003: 4th, 6th, 13th
2002: 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th
2001: 1st, 3rd, 11th
2000: 4th, 10th, 17th
1999: 2nd, 6th, 8th, 17th
1998: 1st, 2nd, 5th
1997: 1st, 7th, 15th
1996: 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th
1995: 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th
1994: 1st, 3rd
1993: 4th 7th, 14th   


4BR Prediction: 

What a contest we have in store, and what a battle to claim not only the local bragging rights but also the qualification places for London.

If the bands all play to form then it could well be a battle royal between Grimethorpe and Black Dyke for the overall spoils once more, but Brighouse and Hepworth could be close on their tails too and should just have enough about them to claim the two additional priceless tickets to the Albert Hall.

If they are not on the very top of their game though then Rothwell and YBS could pinch ahead of them, with Carlton Main too well worth a few bob as an eachway bet.  

1. Black Dyke
2. Grimethorpe
3. Brighouse & Rastrick
4. Hepworth (Cookson Homes)
5. Rothwell Tempernce
6. YBS

Dark Horses: Carlton Main

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