2008 Welsh Regional Championship - Championship Section: Runners & Riders

3-Mar-2008

Can anyone stop Cory from yet again taking the title this year it could be seven in a row if someone cant.


BrangSunday 9th March
Adjudicator: Alan Morrison

Test Piece: Festival Music – Eric Ball
Commences: After 4th Section
 


BTMBTM
Conductor:
Graham O'Connor
4BR Ranking:  

Last 12 Years:

2007: 3rd (J. Katsikaris)
2006: 6th (J. Katsikaris)
2005: 2nd (B. Hurdley)
2004: 5th (D. Stowell)
2003: 4th (D. Stowell)
2002: 6th (D. Stowell)
2001: 7th (G. Pritchard)
2000: 4th (G. Pritchard)
1999: DNC
1998: 2nd
1997: 4th
1996: 3rd 

The recent departure of Jason Katsikaris from the 2007 Welsh League Champions seemed to upset the equilibrium of late with two pretty average performances at both Yeovil and Porthcawl.

Those results are no real reflection on a band that has been playing very well indeed in the past 12 months and they will be keen to return to form under the direction of Graham O'Connor.  On their day they can push all the way for the title and will be confident of a qualification place at least.  They will surely be well prepared to do just that.  


bURRYBurry Port Town
Conductor:
P. Bailey
4BR Ranking: 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 4th (M. Thorne)
2006: 2nd (M. Thorne)
2005: 7th (M. Thorne)
2004: 8th (D. Evans)
2003: 3rd (D. Evans)
2002: 5th (P. Bailey)
2001: 8th (M. Thorne)
2000: 7th (M. Thorne)
1999: Winners of First Section (prom)
1998: 3rd
1997: 2nd
1996: Winners of Second Section (prom) 

A cracking record in the last couple of years, Burry Port has been going through a bit of a rebuilding process of late and that was shown with their performance at Porthcawl just a couple of weeks ago when they came 6th.

The decision to bring in Philip Harper should give them a touch more zest and on their day they have it about them to push for a podium place. Not to be discounted given their form here, and they are quickly improving, but they are up against some tough opposition.  


CoryCory 
Conductor:
Dr. Robert Childs
4BR Ranking: 

Last 12 Years:
2007: Winners (R. Childs)
2006: Winners (R. Childs)
2005: Winners (R. Childs)
2004: Winners (R. Childs)
2003: Winners (R. Childs)
2002: Winners (R. Childs)
2001: 4th (R. Childs)
2000: Winners (J. Wise)
1999: 3rd
1998: Winners
1997: 2nd
1996: 5th 

What a record, and it would be a brave punter to bet against them making it seven in a row this year. With euphonium star David Childs a possible doubt until last week there were even rumours that Elgar Howarth would be taking the baton and the MD returning to the euphonium section – that’s how much it means to them not to lose!

With European qualification up for grabs there is no way in which they will take the contest and victory for granted, so look out for them firing on all cylinders once more.      


cwmCwmaman Institute Tower Colliery
Conductor:
Graham Sheppard
4BR Ranking: 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 5th (I. Porthouse)
2006: 8th (J. Hudson)
2005: 3rd (J. Hudson)
2004: 3rd (J. Hudson)
2003: 7th (J. Hudson)
2002: 4th (J. Hudson)
2001: 5th (J. Hudson)
2000: 6th (J. Hudson)
1999: 5th
1998: 4th
1997: 5th
1996: 7th 

Rumours of possible partnerships and amalgamations have amounted to nothing, with only the colliery that proudly forms part of their title the only thing to have bitten the dust. 

Cwmaman has fought many a battle to safeguard their future over the years and once more they have shown a great deal of character in doing so once again. On the contest stage here they have shown plenty of decent form too and they have a great capacity of surprising people when they least expect it. Don’t bet against them doing just that again.  


NorthopNorthop Silver
Conductor:
Thomas Wyss
4BR Ranking:

Last 12 Years:

2007: Winners of First Section (T. Wyss) (prom)
2006: Winners (T. Wyss)
2005: 6th (B. Baker)
2004: 9th in Championship Section (B. Baker) (rel)
2003: 9th (C. Roberts)
2002: 7th (C. Roberts)
2001: 3rd (I. Porthouse)
2000: 8th (I. Porthouse)
1999: 4th
1998: DNC
1997: 6th
1996: 2nd 

The double First Section champion gained promotion back to the Championship this year and after their sterling performances over the last two seasons under the baton of Thomas Wyss they are in pretty decent shape to flourish at the highest level once again.  

Just missed out on taking the national title at Harrogate, there is plenty of talent within the ranks and at the helm. A good outside bet maybe?


ParcParc and Dare
Conductor:
Craig Roberts
4BR Ranking: 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 7th (C. Roberts)
2006: 3rd (C. Roberts)
2005: Winners of First Section (C. Roberts) (prom)
2004: Winners of First Section (C. Roberts)
2003: 10th in Championship Section (C. Roberts) (rel)
2002: 8th (C. Roberts)
2001: 6th (C. Roberts)
2000: 5th (C. Roberts)
1999: 7th
1998: 5th
1997: 9th
1996: 4th 

On their day Parc can perform wonderfully well, but they can also have days when they sound distinctly off the pace too.

The good news is that in 2008 they have shown pretty decent form at both Yeovil and Porthcawl where many had them a bit higher than their eventual 4th plac, and they have a fair old record here in the last two years. Lots of talented players around the stands and a very musical MD (Richard Evans took the band at the entertainment events) at the helm, this could a piece that suits them to a tee.  


TTongongwynlais Temperance
Conductor:
Gareth Pritchard
4BR Ranking: 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 8th (G. Pritchard)
2006: 7th (G. Pritchard)
2005: 6th (G. Pritchard)
2004: 6th (M. White)
2003: 5th (I. Holmes)
2002: 3rd in First Section (N. Seaman) (prom)
2001: 7th (J. Davies)
2000: 2nd (A. Morton)
1999: 3rd
1998: 9th in Championship Section (rel)
1997: 10th
1996: DNC 

Tongwynlais on form like to perform by the sea – at Skegness they produced two performances of quality that gave them a 3rd place against strong opposition, although they subsequently didn’t opt to take to the stage at Yeovil or Porthcawl. 

They have yet to set the Brangwyn Hall on fire, but that is surely only a matter of time. They have the personnel and an intuitive conductor, so it is bound to click here sooner or later. Sooner the better - especially if the tide is in.  


TredTredegar
Conductor:
Ian Porthouse
4BR Ranking: 

Last 12 Years:

2007: 2nd (M. Fowles)
2006: 4th (M. Fowles)
2005: 4th (D. Evans)
2004: 2nd (R. Gray)
2003: 2nd (T. Wyss)
2002: 3rd (S. Bastable)
2001: Winners (S. Bastable)
2000: 2nd (S. Bastable)
1999: 2nd
1998: 6th
1997: 3rd
1996: Winners 

Back on track? Tredegar were commanding winners at Porthcawl a few weeks back and that would have given them a huge boost to their confidence as they head to Swansea to see if they reclaim the Welsh title for the first time since 2001.  

They didn’t impress the judge at Yeovil however where they came 6th and that may indicate that they are still a work in progress under Ian Porthouse rather than the finished article. 2nd last year, they will be determined to return to the Albert Hall once more.   


WrexhamWrexham Brass
Conductor:
Wayne Ruston
4BR Ranking: 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 6th (W. Ruston)
2006: 3rd in First Section (W. Ruston) (prom)
2005: 2nd (W. Ruston)
2004: 2nd (W. Ruston)
2003: 6th (W. Ruston)
2002: 9th in Championship Section (W. Ruston) (rel)
2001: DNC
2000: Winners of First Section (as Rhos Silver) (I. Davey) (prom)
1999: 2nd (as Rhos) in First Section
1998: 2nd (as Rhos) in First Section
1997: Winners of Second Section (as Rhos) (prom)
1996: 2nd in Second Section (as Rhos) 

Wayne Ruston continues to do excellent work with Wrexham and they were not too far off the pace last year when they delivered a compact performance to come home in 6th place. 

More of that will be needed, but they do have quality in important places and a hunger for success. If they can just click here that may well see them surprise quite a few more fancied rivals.  


Past Qualifiers:

2007: Buy As You View*, Tredegar, BTM
2006: Buy As You View*, Burry Port, Parc & Dare
2005: Buy As You View*, BTM, Cwmaman
2004: Buy As You View*, Tredegar*, Cwmaman, Beaumaris
2003: Buy As You View Cory*, Tredegar, Burry Port Town
2002: Buy As You View Cory, Seindorf Beaumaris
2001: Tredegar, Point of Ayr, BAYV Cory*
2000: Buy As You View Cory, Tredegar*, Point of Ayr**
1999: Point of Ayr, Tredegar
1998: Cory, BTM
1997: Point of Ayr, Cory
1996: Tredegar, Northop
1995: Tredegar, Northop
1994: Cory, BTM, Tredegar*
1993: BTM, Tredegar
1992: Tredegar, Cory
1991: BTM, Parc and Dare***, Mid Rhondda
1990: Tredegar, BTM
1989: Parc and Dare, BTM 

*Pre Qualified
** Point of Ayr did not take their place at the Finals
*** Parc and Dare were later disqualified and their place taken by Mid Rhondda


How Welsh Bands did at the Finals:

2007: 3rd, 7th, 8th
2006: 4th, 19th, 20th
2005: 3rd, 15th, 16th
2004: 4th, 5th, 11th, 18th 
2003: 2nd, 3rd, 18th
2002: 2nd, 17th
2001: 5th, 7th, 15th
2000: 1st, 5th
1999: 3rd, 18th
1998: 6th, 19th
1997: 6th, 8th,
1996: 11th, 16th
1995: 9th, 18th
1994: 5th, 12th, 14th
1993: 2nd, 10th
1992: 8th, 9th
1991: 5th, 22nd
1990: 12th, 17th
1989: 16th, 21st   


4BR Prediction:

With Cory coming in the top four at the Finals, Wales will send three bands to the finals again. (The last time they sent the bare minimum was in 2002). 

It would be a major shock if Cory didn’t retain their title again. Although the chasing pack is closing ground on them they are still a good length or two ahead when they are on form. They should once again take the title and the qualification place for Ostend in 2009 whilst the two other places should see a keen fight between BTM, Tongwynlais and Tredegar.  

With those bands battling it out to the death there may be a chance for Northop, Parc & Dare and dark horse Burry Port to stake their claim.
 
1. Cory
2. Tongwynlais
3. Tredegar
4. BTM
5. Northop
6. Parc & Dare

Dark Horse:  Burry Port

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