2008 Midlands Regional Championship - Second Section: Runners & Riders


Twelve bands line up to see who can produce the best home made inventions to tickle the fancy of John Roberts and David Lancaster.

Sunday 9th March
Adjudicators: John Roberts & David Lancaster
Test Piece: Three Part Invention – Kenneth Downie
Commences: 10.00am

Arrow ValleyArrow Valley Brass
Andy Culshaw

Last 11 Years:
2007: 8th in Third Section (A. Culshaw) (prom)
2006: 6th (A. Culshaw)
2005: 2nd (A. Culshaw)
2004: 17th in Second Section (A. Culshaw) (rel)
2003: 16th (A. Culshaw)
2002: 3rd in Third Section (prom)
2001: 5th
2000: 18th in Second Section (rel)
1999: 13th
1998: 16th
1997: 4th

Rather strangely Arrow Valley gained promotion to the Second Section after coming a fairly mid table 8th last year under the direction of Andy Culshaw. 

In the last two years the band has fallen away a bit from the high of coming runner up here in 2005, so hwo they will do athe higher level is open to question. 5th place at the West Midland contest in the Third Section may be a clue but we hope they don't just make up the numbers.

Bilton Silver (Rugby)
B.E. Clarke

Last 11 Years:
2007: 10th (B. Clarke)
2006: 16th in First Section (B. Clarke) (rel)
2005: 14th (B. Clarke)
2004: 7th in Second Section (B. Clarke) (prom)
2003: 7th (B. Clarke)
2002: 4th
2001: 14th
2000:  20th in First Section (rel)
1999: 12th
1998: 12th
1997: 11th 

Bilton failed to make an immediate impression at the contest last year after being relegated from the First Section in 2006.

10th place was solid enough and they will want to build on that. They have done well at this level before, so who knows  what this year will bring.

City of Coventry
Stephen Cooper

Last 11 Years:
2007: 4th (S. Cooper)
2006: 17th in First Section (S. Cooper) (rel)
2005: 15th (S. Lippeatt)
2004: 12th Championship section (P. Bailey) (rel)
2003: 10th (P. Bailey)
2002: 2nd in First Section (prom)
2001: 5th
2000: 4th
1999: 17th
1998: 8th
1997: 6th 

City of Coventry may have touched the contesting bottom last year when they came 4th here. 

A few years ago they were flying high in the Championship Section, but it has been hard work since and last year's result may well prove to be the springboard for future success, especialy as they notched an encouraging 11th place at Butlins earlier in the season.

DaventryDaventry Brass
Nigel Howard

Last 11 Years:
2007: 9th (N. Howard)
2006: 12th (N. Howard)
2005: 3rd in Third Section (P. Northey) (prom)
2004: 10th (P. Northey)
2003: Winners of Third Section (P. Northey)
2002: 13th
2001: 13th
2000: 4th
1999: 17th in Second Section (rel)
1998: 18th
1997: 12th 

Nigel Howard and his band are making solid progress step by step it seems at this contest, and last year they took another move upwards when they came an encouraging 9th.

Since then they have come 3rd at the Leicester Contest and 7th at the West Midlands event, so they should be wel prepared and could be looking at a potential top six finish if they really hit form.

Chris Groom

Last 11 Years:
2007: 2nd (C. Groom)
2006: 10th (C. Groom)
2005: 7th (C. Groom)
2004: 5th (C. Groom)
2003: 12th (C. Groom)
2002: 8th (C. Groom)
2001: 3rd (C. Groom)
2000: 14th (N/K)
1999: 9th
1998: 11th
1997: 8th 

Chris Groom and Harborough very nearly hit the bulls eye last year when they delivered a fine performance to come home as runner up and book a place at Harrogate.

There they came 15th against a strong field of rivals and the experience of that contest should hold them in good stead here as they look to book return tickets. If they play as well as they did 12 months ago then they may well do just that.

LeicesterLeicestershire Co-op Snibston Charnwood
Graham Jacklin

Last 11 Years:
2007: 4th in Third Section (G. Jacklin) (prom)
2006: 2nd (G. Jacklin)
2005: 8th (G. Jacklin)
2004: 6th (G. Jacklin)
2003: 16th (G. Jacklin)
2002: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)
2001: 10th
2000: 12th
1999: 17th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC 

Garham Jacklin and his resurgent band gained promotion last year after coming 4th in theThird Section. 

It wasn't so long ago that the band was languishing in the depths of the Fourth Section, so to see them here is a tremendous achievement in such a short space of time. A busy band they came 5th at Leicester, runners up at both West Midlands and Derby and were 12th at Butlins . You can't say they aren't prepared then can you? 

Lon EatonLong Eaton Silver Prize
Sharon Stansfield

Last 11 Years:
2007: 6th (S. Stansfield)
2006: Winners of Third Section (S. Stansfield) (prom)
2005: 4th (S. Stansfield)
2004: 4th (S. Stansfield)
2003: 2nd in Fourth Section (S. Stansfield) (prom)
2002: 3rd
2001: 13th
2000: 17th
1999: 23rd
1998: 16th 
1997: 17th 

Sharon Stansfield and her fine young band more than held their own here last year when they came a hard working 6th. 

Long Eaton are another outfit that has come a long way in a short space of time and after coming 3rd at Derby and 13th at Butlins they may well fancy their chances here and another Harrogate trip.

Oddfellows Brass
R. Boulter

Last 11 Years:
2007: 5th (R. Boulter)
2006: 6th (R. Boulter)
2005: DNC
2004: 6th (P. Norbury)
2003: Withdrew
2002: 12th
2001: 4th
2000: 9th in Championship Section (rel)
1999: 12th in Championship Section
1998: 2nd in First Section (prom)
1997: 5th in First Section

The former Unity Brass are continuing to do very well nicely under the direction of Ray Boulter and under the new name of Oddfellows Brass, and last year they challenged strongly for a qualification place, eventually coming home in 5th place.   

More of that or even better may well be in order after they came 4th at the West Midlands contest and 10th at Pontins against a strong field of rivals. Ones to watch out for possibly?

PORTYPorthywaen Silver
S. Gittins

Last 11 Years:
2007: 12th (D. Thomas)
2006: 5th (D. Thomas)
2005: 5th (D. Thomas)
2004: 10th (D. Thomas)
2003: 11th (D. Thomas)
2002: 9th (D. Thomas)
2001: 8th (D. Thomas)
2000: 2nd in Third Section (N/K) (prom)
1999: 4th in Fourth Section (prom)
1998: 2nd
1997: Winners of Fourth Section 

After promising to possibly push for a qualification place last year, Porthywaen would have been disappointed to have only managed 12th place. 

A very solid and dependable outfit they have more than held their own here over the years and they will need to put in a good result to ensure that they are not drawn into a relegation fight under their new MD.

StouportStourport on Severn
C. Farlow

Last 11 Years:
2007: 18th in First Section (D. Morgan) (rel)
2006: 12th (B. Pope)
2005: 8th in Second Section (S. Gittins) (prom)
2004: 3rd (D. Maplestone)
2003: 3rd (D. Maplestone)
2002: 13th (D. Maplestone)
2001: 6th in Third Section (D. Maplestone) (prom)
2000: 8th (N/K)
1999: 3rd
1998: 12th
1997: 11th 

Stourport found life tough in the First Section over the last two years and finally fell back through the relegation trap door after coming 18th last year.

They will be looking for a good start to life here then and they have shown in the past that they are more than capable of doing just that..

West MerciaWest Mercia Constabulary
David Bishop-Rowe 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 7th (D. Bishop-Rowe)
2006: 7th in Third Section (S. Pritchard-Jones) (prom)
2005: 5th (S. Pritchard Jones)
2004: 3rd (H. Gibbs)
2003: 12th (H. Gibbs)
2002: 4th
2001: 3rd in Fourth Section (prom)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC   

David Bishop-Rowe leads the band from the local police force and they have been making pretty decent progress under his command. 

7th place was solid stuff last year and they came 6th at the West Midlands Contest. More of the same then or can they just up their form to challenge for a podium place?


Past Qualifiers:

2007: Phoenix West Midlands Brass, Harborough
2006: Foresters Brass 2000, Hopkins Solicitors Blidworth
2005: Shirland Welfare Training, Wigston
2004: Hathern, Raunds Temperance, Stourport on Severn
2003: Shirley Band, Darley Dale, Stourport on Severn
2002: Langley, Shirley, Brackley
2001: Towcester, Tintwistle, Harborough
2000: Ibstock Building, Bedworth
1999: Moulton Brass '77, City of Stoke on Trent
1998: Bedworth, Derwent, Shirland Miners
1997: Newstead Welfare, Greasley Old Hall, Derwent Brass
1996: Riddings, Premier Brass (Stamford), Ibstock Building Products
1995: Glossop Old, Unity Brass, Harborough
1994: Darley Dale, Unity Brass, City of Stoke  

Midlands Bands at the Finals:

2006: 3rd, 15th
2006: 5th, 16th
2005: 11th, 13th
2004: 1st, 17th
2003: 16th, 17th, 18th
2002: 2nd, 3rd, 7th
2001: 3rd, 6th, 9th
2000: 3rd, 6th
1999: 7th, 11th
1998: 2nd, 6th   

4BR Prediction:

Another close one to call - 12 solid outfits all with plenty of talent and varying contesting success in the last few months to call on.

Of those we think it could well be a fight for Harrogate between Leicester Co-op and City of Coventry, with Harborough and Long Eaton hard on their tails. Oddfellows and Stourport could also be in the mix and our dark horse is West Mercia Constabulary. 
1. Leicester Co-op Snibston Charnwood
2. City of Coventry
3. Harborough
4. Long Eaton
5. Oddfellows
6. Stourport on Severn

Dark Horse: West Mercia Constabulary


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