London and Southern Counties Regional Championship
Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre
Competing Bands: BAE Systems (K. Woodger): Becontree Brass (W. Rumford): Brighton Silver (E. Flood): Broseley Brass (P. Fenson): Cantium Brass (J. Goold): Cawston (C. Swaep): Crystal Palce (M. Gray): Grimsdyke Brass (Harrow) (K. Ransom): Horsham Borough (L. Baron): Littleport Brass (J. Hammond): Northfleet Brass (D. Lewis): Stonesfield Silver (T. Brotherhood): Wantage Silver A (M. Pegram): Woking Brass (G. Wyatt)
The second section should make for an interesting contest as 14 closely matched bands take on the challenge of the Ewald "Symphony". Nearly all the bands here have been busy during the past twelve months or so in the contesting field and many have notched up points wins over their rivals at sometime or another.
James Scott is a hard man to impress though and a lot of the bands will have to curb the inclination of trying to blow their way to victory. It's going to be difficult to predict, but experience tells us that victory will go to the band that does the basics well and just adds that little bit of magic to the complex score. Easy isn't it?
BAE Systems were 9th here last year following their promotion from the third section where they had secured the move up on the back of a 4th, 2nd and 6th place in the previous years. They also came 9th at Folkestone in the 1st section and came 3rd at Hove in the Championship section. Becontree Brass meanwhile have risen from the depths of the fourth section and have two promotions to their name in the past five years. First they secured a move up in 1998 on the back of two consecutive runners up spots and then three years in the third section where they came 12th, 4th and 2nd last year sees them challenging here. They also came 3rd at Folkestone in the 2nd section, 11th at the National Finals and won at Hove.
Brighton Silver were 8th last year, which as their first back in the section following their relegation from the first section on the back of a series of results since 1998 that saw them come 12th, 12th and 11th. They were winners of this section in 1997 and were 4th in the first section at Folkestone. Broseley Brass are another band that will be hoping to maintain the form of last year when they came 6th. This followed three years in the third section where they secured promotion on the back of 2nd place in 1998, 8th place in 1999 and 5th in 2000.
Cantium Brass come to the contest as third section champions of 2001. They won the contest and the promotion as they also came runners up the year before and they used this as a springboard as they gained a very well deserved 7th place at the National Finals and came 11th at the Folkestone contest when they competed in the first section. Cawston meanwhile were 10th last year and that was something of a disappointment since they had come 3rd the year before. They were also 11th in 1999.
Crystal Palace have had three solid years in the section following their promotion in 1998 after they had come 5th and 3rd in 1997 and 1998. They nearly got a qualification spot straight away as they came 3rd in 1999, but in the last two years they have fallen away a bit and came 9th in 2001 and 13th last year. Grimsdyke Brass meanwhile have been consistent performers here since they were relegated after coming 16th in the first section in 1998. They have since come 9th, 6th and 7th, so they will hopefully be challenging again.
Horsham Borough are one of the promoted bands from the third section after they secured the trip on the back of 7th place in 2000 and 3rd last year, the last time they were here was in 1998 when they came 10th and were relegated. They recently won at Folkestone in the second section and came 4th at Hove to go with their European triumph of 2nd place at the French Open in the Excellence Division.
Littleport Brass were 12th last year, which was their worse result here in the four years they have competed at this level since securing promotion as third section winners in 1997. Since 1998 they have come 7th, 7th, 11th and 12th last time out. Northfleet will be hoping for a return back to the first section following their relegation on the strength of 17th place last year and 12th in 2000. They had gained the trip up a level after they came 6th here in 1997, 3rd in 19987 and 4th in 1999. They also came 14th at Folkestone last year in the championship class and 6th in the first section contest.
Stonesfield were runners up last year and went on to come a very creditable 10th at the National Finals. They have come a long way in a short space of time and won the fourth section title here in 1998 and followed that by coming 5th in the third section in 1999, winning the title in 2000 and gaining promotion and 2nd last year. They could well be in with a good chance again this time around.
Wantage Silver A were 3rd last year and they also won at the famous Bugle contest as well as coming 6th at Pontins. They have improved each year since they came 11th here in 1998 and they followed this with 8th places in 1999 and 2000 and then a podium spot last year. Woking Brass finally were 5th last year after they came 10th the year before. They were third section champions in 1999, which secured their promotion and they have also won at the Folkestone Contest in the First section and bizarrely came 2nd at the same contest in the second section! Not to be denied though, they also won at Wantage.
Dark Horse: Becontree Brass
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