2010 Pontins Championships - Lower Section previews and predictions

20-Oct-2010

Malcolm Wood looks at the prospects of the competing band in Sections 1-4 this weekend in Prestatyn.


PontinsFirst Section:

Saturday 23rd October: 
Venue: Fun Factory Ballroom
Draw: Pre-drawn
Commence: 11.00am

Test Piece: Flamborough Seascapes - Darrol Barry
Adjudicators: C. Brian Buckley & Kevin Wadsworth

First Prize: £2,500 + Commemorative Cup
Second Prize: £1,200 + Commemorative Cup
Third Prize: £800 + Commemorative Cup
Fourth Prize: £500 + Commemorative Cup

Special Award To the Youngest Player in the Section

Blackburn
2009 winners Blackburn & Darwen

A small field of just 8 bands will compete in the First Section on Darrol Barry's descriptive ‘Flamborough Seascapes’. 

The organisers will have been disappointed that the contest has only attracted such a small line up of contenders, especially when there is such an enticing prize pot up for grabs, but it seems that the test piece itself hasn’t caught the imagination of those who have played it.

C. Brian Buckley and Kevin Wadsworth will still have a difficult task on their hands though with all eight contenders enjoying a pretty good season of contesting form. It could prove to be quite a battle to see who leaves Prestatyn £2,500 better off on Saturday afternoon.

Solid outfits

The solid contesting outfit of Staines make the trip up from the London & Southern Counties region having narrowly missed out on a trip to Harrogate back in March, whilst Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) will be boosted by their recent podium finish at the Wychavon contest. Having won at Butlins earlier in the year, they will be looking to make it a ‘Holiday Camp’ double.

City of Sheffield were 6th here last year but put in a solid showing in coming in the prizes at Bolsover recently, whilst Lindley will be looking to build on their decent outing at the Senior Trophy in Blackpool.

The North West is represented by Lancashire duo Longridge and Oldham Band (Lees), with the former keen to see if they can improve on last year’s 4th place and Oldham even keener to show that having won the Second Section title 12 months ago they have made the step up in class. A recent podium finish at Fleetwood suggests they may be a band in the mix come the results.

Wales sends a strong representative in the rapidly improving Wrexham Brass, who has enjoyed a fine contesting year so far under Wayne Ruston’s baton, whilst Barton Town makes a welcome appearance at the contest under the direction of Garry Oglesby.

4BR Prediction:

It may only be a small field of competitors but this could be a contest to savour with any number of bands in with a real shout of victory if they hit top form.

Wrexham produced the goods at Harrogate and has been showing fine form all year under Wayne Ruston’s direction, so could be the band to beat, whilst Oldham Band (Lees) is also well prepared and could push them all the way.

Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) and Staines are two very solid outfits more than capable of lifting the first prize, whilst it could be one heck of a scrap between the rest to fill the remaining top six places.

1. Wrexham
2. Oldham (Lees)
3. Staines
4. Jackfield (Elcock Reisen)
5. City of Sheffield
6. Longridge

Dark Horses: Lindley & Barnton


Second Section:

Sunday 24th October 2010
Venue: Lunars Hall
Draw: Pre-drawn
Commence: 11.00am

Test Piece: Californian Legend - Bruce Broughton
Adjudicators: C. Brian Buckley and Kevin Wadsworth

First Prize: £2,500 + Commemorative Cup
Second Prize: £1,200 + Commemorative Cup
Third Prize: £800 + Commemorative Cup
Fourth Prize: £500 + Commemorative Cup

Special Award: To the Youngest Player in the Section

Oldhan
2009 winners Oldham (Lees)

Bruce Broughton's vivid portrayal of Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo’s 1510 tome describing the fictional story of a mystical island was written for the 1986 Regional Championships.

And since then, the work, which is full of exciting harmonies and colourful timbres, has been a popular test piece and own choice selection for bands. It will be interesting then to see how this small field tackles its exciting tempos and layered detail in Lunars Bar on Sunday. 

C. Brian Buckley and Kevin Wadsworth will have a short but highly enjoyable contest to ponder with eight well matched bands looking to win the £2,500 top prize.

Good form

National finalists Rainford will be looking to continue their recent good form having finished 6th at Harrogate, and with the Graham O'Connor at the helm they could be the band to beat.

Haslingden & Helmshore has enjoyed another solid contesting season and will be looking to show the type of form that gained them a podium finish at that other holiday resort in Butlins earlier in the year, whilst Barnsley Building Society will be confident as they look to build on a good showing at the recent Bolsover Contest.

Leicestershire (Snibston), Wellington (Telford) and Haydock have been pretty quiet on the contest front of late so should be well prepared for the challenges ahead under the experienced batons of Graham Jacklin, Mark Phillips and Mark Quinn. All have had their contesting moments or two over the last few seasons, so may well feature if they are playing to top form.

Wales is represented by Gwaun Cae Gurwen, up from the valleys on the back of an encouraging runners up placing at the recent Ammanford Contest, whilst Downshire Brass makes the trip over the Irish Sea hoping to build on a solid performance at the Land O’ Burns Contest a few months back.

4BR Prediction:

If form is anything to go by, look no further than Rainford for the title, but they'll be pushed hard by the likes of Haslingden & Helmshore if they show the form of Butlins, and Barnsley Building Society.

Wellington (Telford), Gwaun Cae Gurwen and Haydock should battle it out for the top six places with our dark horses of Leicestershire (Snibston) and Downshire Brass. 

1. Rainford
2. Haslingden & Helmshore
3. Barnsley Building Society
4. Wellington (Telford)
5. Gwaun Cae Gurwen
6. Haydock

Dark Horses: Leicestershire (Snibston) & Downshire Brass


Third Section:

Saturday 23rd October 2010
Venue: Lunars Hall
Draw: Pre-drawn
Commence: at the conclusion of the Fourth Section 2.30pm approx.

Test Piece: Partita for Bands (Postcards from Home) - Philip Wilby
Adjudicators: Dr. Roy Newsome and Paul Holland

First Prize: £2,500 + Commemorative Cup
Second Prize: £1,200 + Commemorative Cup
Third Prize: £800 + Commemorative Cup
Fourth Prize: £500 + Commemorative Cup

Special Award To the Youngest Player in the Section

 Uppermill
Reigning champions Uppermill take the 2009 title

Philip Wilby's popular 'Partita: Postcards from Home' provides the test for the 11 Third Section bands on Saturday afternoon in the Lunars Bar, with a bit of a local flavour to spice up the contest with no less than six bands from the North West Area battling it out for the £2,500 top prize.

There are a host of bands on pretty good recent form too, so Dr Roy Newsome and Paul Holland should have plenty to enjoy as they ponder who will leave as 2010 champions.

Reigning champion

Reigning champion Uppermill and Alan Widdop took the Butlins title earlier in the year and always come to any contest well prepared, whilst Hoover (Bolton) and Shirebrook Miners Welfare will be looking to build on the confident performances they put in at the recent Lower Section National Finals in Harrogate.

Trinity Girls enjoyed a fine podium finish recently at Fleetwood, whilst Dronfield have enjoyed an extended period of good contesting fortune this season after claiming the Fourth Section title at Butlins.

Crofton were victors at the Kiveton Forestry contest, whilst Ogmore make the trip north on the back of a podium finish at the Ammanford event in West Wales.

Chalgrove will be keen to repeat the form that saw them claim a podium finish here last year, whilst Hawk Green and Greenalls will be looking to move up the results table after coming 5th and 9th respectively twelve months ago.

Pemberton Old DW ‘B’, is always a band that can be relied upon to put in a good showing and they will be seeking to build on the good form shown at Butlins earlier in the season where they came 6th.

4BR Prediction:

With a number of bands that have tasted contesting success throughout the season, confidence shouldn’t be in short supply.

That said, if Uppermill can once again show their tip top form they should be the band to beat, although they will be pushed all the way by the likes of Hoover (Bolton), Crofton, Trinity Girls, Shirebrook and Pemberton Old.

Our dark horse on this occasion is Hawk Green.

1. Uppermill
2. Hoover (Bolton)
3. Crofton
4. Trinity Girls
5. Shirebrook Miners Welfare
6. Pemberton Old DW B

Dark Horse: Hawk Green


Fourth Section:

Saturday 23rd October 2010
Venue: Lunars Hall
Draw: Pre-drawn
Commence: 9.00am

Test Piece: A Caledonian Journey - Alan Fernie
Adjudicators: Roy Sparkes and Major Peter Parkes

First Prize: £2,500 + Commemorative Cup
Second Prize: £1,200 + Commemorative Cup
Third Prize £800 + Commemorative Cup
Fourth Prize £500 + Commemorative Cup

Special Award To the Youngest Player in the Section

Hazel Grove
Reigning champions Hazel Grove take the 2009 title

There is a fine field of 16 bands in the Fourth Section which starts on the stroke of 9.00am on Saturday morning.

Alan Fernie’s wonderfully descriptive test, ‘A Caledonian Suite’ has plenty of fun and games within it to test these bands to the full, but also allows them to showcase their strengths too. 

Popular work

It’s been a popular work at this level ever since it was used back in 1998 at the Fourth Section National Finals.

Plenty then for Roy Sparkes and Major Peter Parkes to enjoy in the box, especially as it promises to be a high class competition with a host of confident and successful bands battling it out for the £2,500 top prize.

A great deal of that quality comes from the North West, one of the strongest areas of the country at this level – and the bands that filled the top three places at the Lower Section National Finals in Harrogate lock horns once more.

National champion

Hazel Grove came out on top then – off the number 1 draw - and will be keen to retain the title they won here last year too. 

Once again though they should be pushed all the way by National runner up Besses Boys and third placed Farnworth & Walkden, who was also runner up at this contest last year too.

Another Harrogate finalist in Worsborough makes the trip over from Yorkshire determined to build on a confident performance both there and at Bolsover recently, whilst Dronfield (who will also play in the Third Section on the weekend) is another band that has enjoyed a pretty good contesting season, winning Butlins earlier in the year and coming 6th at Bolsover.

Darwen come to the contest after claiming a confident podium finish at Fleetwood, whilst Blackley will be looking to build on their 7th place there.

Enjoyed

Thurcroft enjoyed their appearance at Butlins earlier in the season when they came 3rd and will therefore be keen to add more holiday camp silverware to their 2010 collection, whilst Nelson, Denton and Golborne will be looking to up the form from their appearance here last year when all three finished in the top ten.

Boarshurst Silver could be a bit of a dark horse under the experienced direction of David Ashworth, whilst Littleborough has been making solid progress under Adrian Woodhead.

Onchan Silver makes a welcome trip over the Irish Sea from the Isle of Man, whilst Barton Silver and Cold Ash will be looking to make a mark after a fairly quiet 2010 season so far.

4BR Prediction:

What a cracking contest we have in store – with the prospect of a battle royal from the big guns of the North West in particular.

Hazel Grove proved their worth at Harrogate and should be the band to beat once again, and we can’t see further than rivals Besses Boys and Farnworth & Walkden as potential podium finishers.

Darwen Silver should be confident of doing well, as will Boarshurst Silver and Dronfield, with our dark horse Blackley.

1. Hazel Grove
2. Besses Boys
3. Farnworth & Walkden
4. Boarshurst
5. Darwen Silver
6. Dronfield CMW

Dark Horse: Blackley

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