2007 Welsh Regional Championship - First Section


It may only be a smallish field, but there should be plenty for Geoffrey Whitham to enjoy as the Welsh bands tackle the delights of the Wayfarer.

Saturday 17th March
Adjudicator: Geoffrey Whitham
Test Piece: Sinfonietta - The Wayfarer - Eric Ball

Commences: Follows Second Section
Draw: 3.30pm

Ammanford Town
Colin Hogg

Last 11 Years:
2006: DNC
2005: 4th (C. Hogg)
2004: 5th (C. Hogg)
2003: 5th (C. Hogg)
2002: 7th (C. Hogg)
2001: 2nd in Second Section (prom) (T. Jenkins)
2000: 6th in Second Section (J. Davies)
1999: 7th in Second Section
1998: DNC
1997: 6th (rel)
1996: 6th

Ammanford didn't make it to the contest stage here last year so their return is most welcome. The former Second Section National Champions of 2001 were consistent challengers here over the last few years so it will be interesting to see how they do now they are back.

Colin Hogg is an experienced MD who knows what it takes to do well, but they will have to play to top form against some strong bands if they are to book another trip to Harrogate.  

Gavin Saynor

Last 11 Years:
2006: 8th (W. Williams)
2005: Winners of Second Section (prom) (G. Saynor)
2004: 4th (W. Williams)
2003: 5th (R. Wyatt)
2002: 9th in First Section (rel) (J. Cant)
2001: 9th (E. Landon)
2000: 4th (R. Wyatt)
1999: 4th in Second Section (prom)
1998: 2nd
1997: Winners of Third Section (prom)
1996: Winners of Third Section

The talented Gavin Saynor returns with the baton with Deiniolen and he will be keen to repeat the type of form that they showed here in winning the Second Section in such fine style in 2005.

The band came 3rd in the Open Section of the North Wales Championship late last year. Last year here they were a little off the pace, but you sense that the big man of Welsh banding won't put his reputation on the line if he didn't feel his band were not in with a chance of success. He may be proved right.  

MarkhamMarkham and District
Nigel Seaman

Last 11 Years:
2006: 4th (N. Seaman)
2005: 7th (N. Seaman)
2004: 2nd in Second Section (prom) (N. Seaman)
2003: 7th in First Section (rel) (A. Jones)
2002: 10th (N. Seaman)
2001: 4th in Second Section (prom) (N. Seaman)
2000: 3rd in Second Section (N. Seaman)
1999: 3rd in Second Section
1998: 7th in Second Section
1997: 5th in Second Section
1996: 8th in Second Section

Perhaps the form band here given that they produced a fine show at Butlins earlier in the year to claim a well earned 6th place against a strong field of competitors. If they can produce that type of form again then they will surely fancy their chances of booking B&B in Harrogate in September. The band rounded of the year by coming 4th in the First Section at Treorchy.

4th place last year wasn't a bad result and with Nigel Seaman once more back to lead the challenge they should approach Swansea high on confidence. It shouldn't be misplaced.  

NorthopNorthop Silver
Thomas Wyss

Last 11 Years:
2006: Winners (T. Wyss)
2005: 6th (B. Baker)
2004: 9th in Championship Section (rel) (B. Baker)
2003: 9th (C. Roberts)
2002: 7th (C. Roberts)
2001: 3rd (I. Porthouse)
2000: 8th (I. Porthouse)
1999: 4th
1998: DNC
1997: 6th
1996: 2nd

Last years winners return looking for a repeat performance and result. They were very good in winning the title last year under the astute leadership of Thomas Wyss and went on to produce a fine performance in Harrogate where they came 10th off the dreaded number 2 draw and deserved higher. They showed true form in coming 3rd in the Radio Cymru Contest.l

8th place at Pontins rounded off a pretty decent 2006 and they will be keen to show that they are a force once more in Welsh banding.  Should do well and give the MD a chance to look at a few golf courses around Harrogate to hone his impressive handicap come September too.  

Tony Small

Last 11 Years:
2006: 2nd (T. Small)
2005: 8th (T. Small)
2004: 3rd (T. Small)
2003: 2nd in Second Section (prom) (T. Small)
2002: Winners of Second Section (N. Seaman)
2001: 8th in First Section (rel) (T. Small)
2000: 6th in First Section (T. Small)
1999: 6th in First Section
1998: 7th in First Section
1997: 8th in Championship Section (rel)
1996: 8th in Championship Section

Great to see Penclawdd back on the success trail last year under their founder and inspiration Tony Small. He continues to develop young playing talent like no one else in the Principality and it was many of those youngsters (plus a few older heads) who really delivered the goods. They were runners up in the Welsh League and winners at Treorchy late last year.

Went on to come a well merited 8th at Harrogate to round off a decent 2006, so if they have continued to build then they could well be in for another good day by the sea in Swansea.  The glory days of 1986 when they won the Championship Section here could well be on the horizon once more if they do.  

PontPontardulais Town
Paul Jenkins

Last 11 Years:
2006: 5th (P. Jenkins)
2005: 3rd (A. Jones)
2004: 4th (M. Faro)
2003: 8th (D. Mahoney)
2002: 6th (B. Buckley)
2001: 5th (B. Buckley)
2000: 3rd (B. Buckley)
1999: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
1998: Winners of Second Section
1997: 2nd in Third Section (prom)
1996: 3rd in Third Section

The band from the Bont return once more under the direction of the talented Paul Jenkins who really impressed with his charges both here last year and at Butlins earlier in the season where they came a decent and solid 13th off an early draw. Winners at Treorchy in the First Section so decent end of year form for sure.

More of the same could well set them up nicely to push for another podium place and a possible away weekend in Yorkshire in September. 

RAFRAF St. Athan Voluntary
Alan Bourne

Last 11 Years:
2006: 3rd in Second Section (A. Bourne) (prom)
2005: 2nd (A. Bourne)
2004: 3rd (A. Bourne)
2003: 6th (A. Bourne)
2002: 11th in First Section (rel) (A. Bourne)
2001: 5th in Second Section (prom) (A. Bourne)
2000: 4th in Second Section (A. Bourne)
1999: Winners of Second Section
1998: 8th in Second Section
1997: 9th in Second Section
1996: 5th in Second Section

St Athan has been enjoying good news on a number of fronts of late, what with the announcement of the MoD going to spend squillions of dosh on the camp for training pilots and the like, as well as the band gaining promotion to the First Section. They were 3rd at Treorchy late last year.

Alan Bourne has done a splendid job with the band in recent years and promotion was well earned too, and they are now a band that could well fancy their chances at the higher level. Great uniforms too.  

Thomas Coaches Mid Rhondda
Alan Gibbs

Last 11 Years:
2006: 6th (A. Gibbs)
2005: 9th in Championship Section (rel) (A. Gibbs)
2004: 7th (A. Gibbs)
2003: 8th (A. Gibbs)
2002: 2nd in First Section (prom) (A. Gibbs)
2001: 9th (rel) (N. Seaman)
2000: 9th (N. Seaman)
1999: 8th
1998: Winners of First Section
1997: 4th in First Section
1996: 2nd in First Section

Thomas Coaches put in a quality performance here last year and were more than a bit unlucky not to have come higher than they eventually did, so you can be sure they will be going all out to claim a qualification place at Harrogate at the very least.

The joint Welsh League Champions were13th at the end of the year at Pontins and 6th at Porthcawl (although up against championship bands) showed that the foundations are in place perhaps they just need that touch of luck.  

Treherbert and District
Andrew Jones

Last 11 Years:
2006: DNC (rel)
2005: 8th in Championship Section (G. Sheppard)
2004: 10th (G. Sheppard)
2003: Winners of First Section (G. Sheppard)
2002: 5th (G. Sheppard)
2001: 2nd (G. Sheppard)
2000: 8th (G. Sheppard)
1999: 5th
1998: 3rd in Second Section (prom)
1997: 2nd in Second Section
1996: DNC

Nice to see Treherbert back and fighting fit, although not under the direction this year of Graham Sheppard who did so much in taking the band up to the Championship Section just a couple of years ago. They came 5th in the top section at Treorchy.

Andrew Jones takes over the baton this time and he could well be helped by a few judicious signings of players enjoying a bit of brass band viagra. Ones to watch out for?  

Past Qualifiers:
2006: Northop Silver, Penclawdd
2005: Parc and Dare, Wrexham Brass
2004: Parc and Dare, Wrexham Brass
2003: Treherbert and District, Abergavenny Borough
2002: Abergavenny Borough, Thomas Coaches Mid Rhondda
2001: Beaumaris, Treherbert and District
2000: Rhos Silver, Tongwynlais Temperance
1999: Burry Port, Rhos Silver
1998: Thomas Coahes Mid Rhondda, Rhos Silver
1997: Beaumaris, Burry Port
1996: Abergavenny, Thomas Coaches Mid Rhondda
1995: Beaumaris, Tongwynlais Temperance 

Welsh Bands at the Finals:
2006: 8th, 10th
2005: 5th, 10th
2004: 2nd, 13th
2003: 13th, 16th
2002: 2nd, 11th
2001: 3rd, 12th
2000: 10th, 16th
1999: 6th, 14th
1998: 11th, 14th  

4BR Prediction:

This has the potential to be a little cracker of a contest if all the bands play to form and it could present Geoffrey Whitham with a few headaches. Northop should be the band to beat for us and they could well be joined on the trip to Harrogate by their fellow North Walians Deiniolen. Markham may well have a word or two to say about that and so too Thomas Coaches Mid Rhondda and Pontardulais.

1. Northop Silver
2. Deiniolen
3. Markham and District
4. Thomas Coaches Mid Rhondda
5. Pontardulais
6. Ammanford

Dark Horse: Penclawdd


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