2010 North West Regional Championship - Championship Section: Runners & Riders

5-Mar-2010

Can Foden's retain their title and create even more history of their own at the Winter Gardens?


Winter GardensSunday 14th March
Opera House
Adjudicator: C Brian Buckley
Test Piece: English Heritage (George Lloyd)
Draw: 1.45pm
Commences: After Second Section results


Another slice of Foden’s history could be created in Blackpool on the weekend, if the band from Sandbach is able to secure its fifth consecutive North West Area title.

Last year they equalled the great CWS (Manchester) in winning four years in a row (they did it between 1966-69). Garry Cutt may be a little way behind Alex Mortimer in Area wins here (5 to his 9), but given Foden’s current dominance over its rivals, that doesn’t seem to be an unassailable target either.

Hard job

It’s hard to see anyone stopping them if they play to form (and they were a little off form in winning here last year) and adjudicator C. Brian Buckley may well have a harder job in picking the qualifiers than the winners if they do.

The Brass in Concert and Masters champion came agonisingly close to adding another National title to its CV last October, only to be beaten by the narrowest of margins by Black Dyke. There is unfinished business to attend to then when they return to Kensington as Foden’s are also one of only a handful of bands to boast  the unlucky record of three successive runners up finishes at London too.

Which two bands will join them there then?

Extra place

With that extra qualification place, winning won’t be the be all and end all for Foden’s rivals this weekend – although that may be stretching it a bit in some cases.

Phil Chalk and Fairey continue to rebuild with an impressive solidity, and now with the additional backing of a new sponsor they may just be in the right frame of mind claim their first Area victory since 2001.  Results on paper may not have been that spectacular at the majors of late, but they are now in perhaps the best shape they have been in for quite a while.

One band desperate to return to London will be Leyland, after last year’s rather inexplicable 8th place.

Howard Evans has been drafted in to lead their challenge, and with their recently announced partnership with the University of Central Lancashire and some important signings in the ranks, there is an air of optimism in their camp – although they won’t take anything for granted.    

Surprise

Pemberton Old
surprised many by qualifying for their first appearance at the Royal Albert Hall for more than a century last year, and they have continued to make impressive progress under Mark Bentham.

That was certainly shown in their 2nd place at the Scottish Open, although they may have been a touch disappointed that they couldn’t start the season off with a win at Brass at the Guild Hall.

They were beaten there by another fast rising band, Blackburn & Darwen, who return to the Championship fray for the first time since 2007. They rounded off last season with a victory in the First Section at Pontins and started this one off with that Preston success. A hat trick may be asking a lot, but they will be a confident band for sure.

Confidence

Another band that will surely come here full to the brim with confidence will be Wire Brass, after they came of age at the back end of last season by coming runner up at Pontins and then 6th at the Scottish Open.

Paul Andrews has moulded a very competitive iutfit under his command, and they could well fancy their chances of stealing a qualification place.

One band that will be looking to recapture some form is Co-operative Milnrow, who impressed last year in coming 6th, but has since rather fallen off the contesting radar. They know they will have to up their form from that at the Scottish Open and Butlins a few weeks back if they are to challenge for a top six place or better.

Steady progress

The other Co-operative Band from Crewe has been making steady progress under the watchful direction of Jef Sparkes and will be looking to build on last year’s impressive 7th place, whilst Ashton under Lyne will be looking to show that they can more than hold their own as they return to the top level for the first time since 2003.

The one band that could well upset the applecart is Wingates, who Alan Morrison will front this year. On their day they are more than capable of winning their first Area title since 1995, but they have been blowing hot and cold of late and would be more than happy to book their place back at Kensington for the first time since 1995.

Few scalps

That just leaves the duo of Poulton Le Fylde and Roberts Bakery, both of whom will know that they will have to take more than a few scalps if they are to avoid the relegation trap door. Neither has been busy of late, so no excuses over preparation then.

Who will win?
 
Hard to see past Foden’s once again if they hit top form, whilst Leyland and Fairey should have more than enough class about them in the key positions to join them back at London.

Wire Brass though could be the band to really make a mark this year if they can keep up their impressive run of form, whilst Pemberton and Wingates should make it into the top six. Milnrow have a bit of a point to prove and could well be an impressive dark horse.   

4BR Prediction:
1. Fodens*
2. Leyland
3. Fairey
4. Wire Brass
5. Pemberton Old Wigan DW
6. Wingates

Dark Horse: Co-operative Milnrow
*Pre-qualified


AshtonAshton Under Lyne
Conductor:
Martyn Evans
4BR Ranking: 105

Last 14 Years:
2009: 3rd in First Section (M. Evans) (prom)
2008: 4th (C. Whiteoak)
2007: 6th (P. Chalk)
2006: 7th in First Section (P. Chalk)
2005: 2nd (P. Chalk)
2004: DNC
2003: 9th in Championship Section (J. Maines) (rel)
2002: 2nd in First Section (J. Maines) (prom)
2001: 9th in Championship Section  (M. Evans) (rel)
2000: 9th (M. Evans)
1999: Winners of First Section (prom)
1998: Winners of Second Section (prom)
1997: Winners of Third Section (prom)
1996: DNC


wIRE bRASSBactiguard Wire Brass
Conductor:
Paul Andrews
4BR Ranking: 40

Last 14 Years:

2009: 4th (P. Andrews)
2008: 8th (P. Andrews)
2007: 10th (P. Andrews)
2006: Winners of First Section (P. Andrews) (prom)
2005: Winners of Second Section (P. Andrews) (prom)
2004: 2nd (J. Hinckley)
2003: 6th (P. Andrews)
2002: Winners of Third Section (P. Andrews) (prom)


Blackburn Blackburn and Darwen
Conductor:
Nick Sheppard
4BR Ranking: 84

Last 14 Years:
2009: 2nd in First Section (N. Sheppard) (prom)
2008: 2nd (N. Sheppard)
2007: 8th in Championship Section (N. Sheppard) (rel)
2006: 12th (N. Sheppard)
2005: 3rd in First Section (N. Sheppard) (prom)
2004: 6th (N. Sheppard)
2003: 5th (G. Pritchard)
2002: 12th (E. Landon)
2001: 5th (E. Landon)
2000: 9th (E. Landon)
1999: 7th
1998: 6th
1997: 6th
1996: 12th Championship Section (rel)


CreweCo-operative (Crewe)
Conductor:
Jef Sparkes
4BR Ranking: 85

Last 14 Years:

2009: 7th (J. Sparkes)
2008: 5th (J. Sparkes)
2007: 5th in First Section (J. Sparkes) (prom)
2006: 2nd (J. Sparkes)
2005: 8th in Championship Section (J. Sparkes) (rel)
2004: 11th (J. Sparkes)
2003: Winners of First Section (J. Sparkes) (prom)
2002: 5th (J. Sparkes)
2001: 2nd (J. Sparkes)
2000: 7th (J. Sparkes)
1999: 8th
1998: 8th
1997: 5th
1996: 5th


coopCo-operative Milnrow
Conductor:
John Ward
4BR Ranking: 78

Last 14 Years:

2009: 6th (J. Ward)
2008: 7th (J. Ward)
2007: 6th (A. White)
2006: =10th (A. White)
2005: 8th in First Section (A. White) (prom)
2004: 4th (A. White)
2003: 2nd (C. Whiteoak)
2002: 11th (D. Hebb)
2001: 6th (D. Hebb)
2000: 5th in Second Section (I. Brownbill) (prom)
1999: Winners of Second Section
1998: 4th in First Section (rel)
1997: 8th
1996: 10th in Championship Section (rel)


fAIREYFairey (Geneva)
Conductor:
Philip Chalk
4BR Ranking:  9

Last 14 Years:

2009: 2nd (P. Chalk)
2008: 3rd (P. Chalk)
2007: 5th (P. Parkes)
2006: 2nd (S. Stonehouse)
2005: 2nd (P. Parkes)
2004: 2nd (A. Withington)
2003: 2nd (Steve Bastable)
2002: 2nd (H. Snell)
2001: Winners (H. Snell)
2000: 2nd (J. Gourlay)
1999: 4th
1998: 2nd
1997: Winners
1996: Winners


FodensFodens
Conductor: Garry Cutt
4BR Ranking: 
2

Last 14 Years:

2009: Winners (G. Cutt)
2008: Winners (G. Cutt)
2007: Winners (G. Cutt)
2006: Winners (G. Cutt)
2005: 3rd (G. Cutt)
2004: 4th (T. Wyss)
2003: Winners (R. Gray)
2002: Winners (R. Gray)
2001: 2nd (J. Gourlay)
2000: Winners (N. Childs)
1999: Winners (N. Childs)
1998: Winners (N. Childs)
1997: 2nd
1996: 3rd


LeylandLeyland
Conductor:
Howard Evans
4BR Ranking: 6

Last 14 Years:

2009: 8th (J. Katsikaris)
2008: 2nd (J. Katsikaris)
2007: 2nd (R. Gray)
2006: 3rd (R. Gray)
2005: Winners (R. Gray)
2004: Winners (G. Cutt)
2003: 4th (G. Cutt)
2002: 3rd (G. Cutt)
2001: 3rd (G. Cutt)
2000: 3rd (H. Snell)
1999: 2nd
1998: 3rd
1997: 3rd
1996: 2nd


PembertonPemberton Old JJB Wigan
Conductor:
Mark Bentham
4BR Ranking: 28

Last 14 Years:

2009: 3rd (M. Bentham)
2008: 10th (M. Peacock)
2007: 7th (M. Peacock)
2006: 8th (M. Peacock)
2005: 7th (M. Peacock)
2004: Winners of First Section (M. Peacock) (prom)
2003: 9th (N. Sheppard)
2002: Winners of First Section (A. Lawton)
2001: 8th (J. Maines)
2000: 2nd in Second Section (J. Maines) (prom)
1999: 13th
1998: 3rd
1997: 7th in Third Section (prom)
1996: 2nd


PoultonPoulton-le-Fylde
Conductor:
Gareth Westwood
4BR Ranking: 153

Last 14 Years:

2009: 11th (G. Westwood)
2008: 6th in First Section (G. Clegg) (prom)
2007: 2nd (S. Tarry)
2006: 6th (S. Tarry)
2005: 9th (S. Tarry)
2004: 7th (S. Tarry)
2003: 7th (S. Tarry)
2002: 4th in Second Section (G. Clough) (prom)
2001: 2nd (G. Clough)
2000: 4th (G. Clough)
1999: 14th
1998: 7th in Third Section (prom)
1997: 5th
1996: 7th


Roberts BakeryRoberts Bakery
Conductor:
Colin Cranson
4BR Ranking: 192

Last 14 Years:

2009: 9th (C. Cranson)
2008: Winners of First Section (C. Cranson) (prom)
2007: 4th (C. Cranson)
2006: 8th (R. Evans)
2005: 4th (R. Evans)
2004: 10th (C. Cranson)
2003: 10th (C. Cranson)
2002: 3rd (C. Cranson)
2001: 11th (C. Cranson)
2000: 10th in Championship Section (C. Cranson) (rel)
1999: 9th
1998: 7th
1997: 3rd in First Section (prom)
1996: 3rd in First Section


WingatesWingates
Conductor:
Alan Morrison
4BR Ranking: 27
 
Last 14 Years:

2009: 5th (A. Berryman)
2008: 4th (A. Berryman)
2007: 3rd (A. Berryman)
2006: 4th (Dr R. Newsome)
2005: 4th (P. McCann)
2004: 3rd (R. Curran)
2003: 11th (R. Curran)
2002: 5th (B. Hurdley)
2001: 7th (B. Grant)
2000: 5th (A. Lawton)
1999: 6th
1998: 5th
1997: 4th
1996: 7th


Past Qualifiers:

2009: Fodens*, Fairey, Pemberton Old Wigan JJB
2008: Fodens*, Leyland, Fairey
2007: Fodens, Leyland
2006: Fodens, Fairey, Leyland*
2005: Leyland*, Fairey FP (Music)
2004: Leyland, Fairey FP (Music)*, Wingates
2003: Fodens*, Williams Fairey*, Haydock, Leyland
2002: Fodens*, Williams Fairey*, Leyland, Besses
2001: Williams Fairey, Fodens*, Leyland
2000: Fodens*, Williams Fairey*, Leyland
1999: Fodens, Leyland, Williams Fairey*, Marple
1998: Fodens*, Williams Fairey*, Leyland, Marple
1997: Williams Fairey, BBS
1996: Williams Fairey, BNFL
1995: Wingates, BNFL, Williams Fairey*
1994: BNFL, Marple, Williams Fairey*
1993: BNFL, BBS, Williams Fairey
*Pre Qualified


How North West bands did in London:

2009: 2nd, 11th, 19th
2008: 2nd, 5th, 8th
2007: 2nd, 13th
2006: 5th, 6th, 7th
2005: 1st, 8th
2004: 10th, 16th, 19th
2003: 1st, 5th, 17th, 20th
2002: 1st, 4th, 13th, 15th
2001: 2nd, 4th, 6th
2000: 3rd, 8th, 14th
1999: 1st, 5th, 7th, 10th
1998: 3rd, 4th, 8th, 11th
1997: 2nd, 3rd
1996: 4th, 7th
1995: 5th, 8th, 10th
1994: 2nd, 7th, 8th
1993: 1st, 5th, 11th 

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