2007 Yorkshire Regional Championship - Championship Section


A fantastic contest is in prospect here as the 13 bands tackle Isaiah 40. With three already booked into their hotels for October there should be a tremendous scrap to see who joins them.

Date: Sunday 4th March
Adjudicators: Nigel Boddice & Geoffrey Whitham
Test Piece: Isaiah 40

Commences: 17.30
Draw: 16.00

Black DykeBlack Dyke
Dr. Nicholas Childs
4BR Ranking: 1

Last Ten Years:
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

Black Dyke are not as dominant here in their own back yard as they would like and have had to suffer defeat at the hands of their rivals for the past four years. Last year they did everything they could to snatch the title off Grimethorpe but just failed but it was a glorious failure nonetheless.

All the players, all the talent and all the desire. If they are to be beaten it will take something special, but you feel they are not going to make the short journey down from their bandroom in Queensbury just to make up the podium places once more.

BrighouseBrighouse & Rastrick
Alan Morrison
4BR Ranking: 5

Last Ten Years:
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

Can Alan Morrison be the man to bring the glory back to the West Riding outfit here in Bradford for the first time since 2003?

If they reproduce the stunning form from Gateshead then the answer could be yes, but they have been a touch fragile on set works of late and their first priority will surely be to claim one of the two qualification places up for grabs. They have the armoury to do it and plenty of verve too, but they may have to be content with keeping their powder dry until later in the year.   

Carlton MainCarlton Main Frickley Colliery
Russell Gray
4BR Ranking: 18

Last Ten Years:
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

Not a brilliant record here in the Millennium and you will get pretty longish odds on a repeat of the 1999 result at Bradford's branch of William Hill. That said though, they do possess all the ingredients for doing very well, and as they showed at last year's British Open  they can really mix it wit the big boys on their day.

Lots of talented players and an MD who will aim to bring out the music from the score first and worry about he ear catching effects later.

Kevin Belcher
4BR Ranking: 125

Last Ten Years:
2006: Winners First Section (S. Foster) (prom)
2005: 6th (P. Shaw)
2004: 2nd (P. Shaw)
2003: 15th Championship Section (rel) (C. Hardy)
2002: 12th (C. Hardy)
2001: 6th in First Section (prom) (A. Eastwood)
2000: 2nd in First Section (M. Bentham)
1999: 13th Championship (rel)
1998: 10th Championship
1997: 9th Championship

Drighlington return to the Championship Section for the first time since 2003, and although last year's victory in the First Section was a surprise to many they will be keen to show that it wasn't misplaced.

They may find it a touch difficult to really make a mark against this class of opposition and they will need to up their game from coming 11th at Harrogate, but Kevin Belcher is a fine MD and will have his band well prepared.

GrimeyGrimethorpe Colliery
Allan Withington
4BR Ranking: 3

Last Ten Years:
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

Could this be Grimethorpe's Annus Mirabalis? A win here will give them their first hat trick at the contest for nearly 40 years and the glory days of George Thompson. The 2007 vintage is some band and they do have perhaps the number 1 conductor on the brass band world at the helm too.

Add that to their strength in depth around the stands and you have what could well be an unbeatable combination. It will take one heck of a band on top form to beat them if they play like they did here last year, and you feel that in Bradford there are not too many who could do just that. 

HepworthHepworth (Lanson Homes)
Mark Bentham
4BR Ranking: 20

Last Ten Years:
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

2007 surely represents Hepworth's best chance of making it through to the Royal Albert Hall, and if they perform as well as they have done here in the past coupe of years they could well be making B&B arrangements on Monday morning.

If they have added a touch more stamina to their undoubted talents then they could well beat away their rivals as that has been their Achilles heel in the past. On their day they could well push for a podium place, but we think they will be realistically looking to make it into the top six for a third year running and claim that bonus prize of a trip to London.

MarsdenMarsden Silver (Riverhead Brass)
Glyn Williams
4BR Ranking: 53

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

A very impressive band in the First Section, Marsden will be keen to make an impression here on their return to the top division for the first time since 2003.

Fodens euphonium star Glyn William's has fashioned a fine band under his command, but they will have to really up their game if they are to take more than a couple of scalps here as they have been a touch indifferent in form at times in the last 12 months, including a disappointing 9th at Harrogate. This will be a real litmus test of just how good they are, but it could be one they pass with flying colours.

Old SilkstoneOld Silkstone
Alan Exley
4BR Ranking: 153

Last Ten Years:
2006: 14th (N. Law)
2005: 4th in First Section (prom) (N. Law)
2004: 3rd (N. Law)
2003: Winners of Second Section (prom) (N. Law)
2002: 7th (N. Law)
2001: 3rd (N. Law)
2000: 7th (N. Law)
1999: Winners of Third Section (prom)
1998: 5th in Third Section
1997: 7th in Third Section
Old Silkstone will need to really play to form if they are to do enough to avoid what looks like the inevitable drop back to the First Section after coming 14th here last year. That may be tough on them though as they performed very well against a high class field, but this is a really hard contest to make a mark at.

Alan Exley is an experienced campaigner and knows what it takes to win here in his playing days with Yorkshire Imps, but avoiding that drop through the relegation trap door must be their most immediate priority.

HatfieldPowerfuel Hatfield Colliery
Graham O'Connor
4BR Ranking: 89

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

Hatfield did really well last year in coming 9th and showed enough class about themselves to suggest that they could be in for long stay in the championship division.

It all depends though if they have moved on from 12 months ago and 6th place at Preston's Guild Hall contest early this season may have just given them the kick up the backside they need to put in the hard graft to make it into the top ten once again. One thing is for certain though they will be thoroughly well prepared by their MD. 

RothwellRothwell Temperance
David Roberts
4BR Ranking: 15

Last Ten Years:
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
Rothwell return to Bradford keen to improve even further on what was a great 2006 for the band.  Much of that success last year was down to the fact that they produced a fine account of themselves here that gave them a massive confidence boost for the rest of the season.

It tailed off a little after the Cambridge victory, but they are a band hungry for more and they should never be underestimated. Now that they have started to get used to playing at all the best venues (Gateshead apart) you feel they don't want to lose out again and a qualification place is the very least of their priorities. 

SellersSellers International
Phillip McCann
4BR Ranking: 11

Last Ten Years:
2006: 8th (P. McCann)
2005: 6th (P. McCann)
2004: 4th (P. McCann)
2003: 3rd (P. McCann)
2002: 6th (P. McCann)
2001: 12th (A. Exley)
2000: 6th (A. Exley)
1999: 4th
1998: 6th
1997: 6th

On paper Sellers have gone backwards here in the last few years, and although a couple of those results have been self inflicted there is no denying that on their day they can produce quite outstanding performances and always interesting ones.

There have been some comings and goings in personnel but Phillip McCann  continues to unearth some real gems to back up his experienced team. If they click and produce playing that doesn't try to make too literal an interpretation of the piece then they have the ability to push the very best bands to the limit. It is always interesting though to hear which course they will take.

Allan Ramsay
4BR Ranking: 4

Last Ten Years:
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

YBS without David King is rather like Yorkshire pudding without the onion gravy, although you get the feeling that the new YBS may be equally as tasty.

Allan Ramsay is a clever and talented musician who knows just how to get the best from a band, and even though they may be missing a few familiar faces in the ranks this new YBS has been going about its recruitment business with a crafty eye.  If anyone underestimates them they could well be in for a shock and with qualification already pre booked, they may just fancy their chances of going for broke and winning the contest. Don't bet against them doing just that.  

ImpsYorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel
Ray Farr
4BR Ranking: 44

Last Ten Years:
2006: 10th (R. Curran)
2005: 2nd in First Section (prom) (C. Houlding)
2004: 13th Championship Section (rel) (D. Evans)
2003: 9th (D. Evans)
2002: 8th (D. Evans)
2001: 7th (T. Wyss)
2000: 7th (T. Wyss)
1999: 8th
1998: 5th
1997: 10th
Yorkshire Imps continue to make their steady progress back towards the top of the Championship Section and they showed enough quality about themselves last year, and at Butlins recently to suggest that they are moving in the right direction.

They have also taken the crafty step of returning to a former MD in the shape of Ray Farr to spearhead their challenge this year, and that could be a good move. Maybe not quite ready to push for a qualification place but more than capable of heading into the top 10 once more.

Past Qualifiers:

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: Grimethopre 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:

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:

Two contests for the price of one? The usual suspects should battle it out for the top honours and take the local bragging rights and we can't see further than the top two for the past couple of years. If it goes to form then it will be a battle royal between Grimethorpe and Black Dyke.

With YBS already qualified they may play with the kind of brilliance that they showed here in their pomp under David King, whilst Brighouse & Rastrick and Hepworth should fancy their chances of claiming the two qualification places with Sellers and Rothwell providing their closest challenge as a dark horse.    

1. Black Dyke
2. Grimethorpe
3. YBS Band
4. Brighouse and Rastrick
5. Hepworth (Lansom Homes)
6. Sellers International

Dark Horses: Rothwell Temperance


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