2008 Midlands Regional Championship - Championship Section: Runners & Riders


Which of the twelve well matched bands here will be keeping their eyes on the Ball to gain a trip to the RAH?

Sunday 9th March
Adjudicator: Jim Davies & Steve Pritchard-Jones
Test Piece: Festival Music – Eric Ball
Commences: After Second Section results

DerwentDerwent Brass
Keith Leonard
4BR Ranking: 

Last 11 Years:
2007: 2nd in First Section (K. Leonard) (prom)
2006: 6th (K. Leonard)
2005: 10th in Championship Section (K. Leonard) (rel)
2004: 10th (K. Leonard)
2003: 4th in First Section (K. Leonard) (prom)
2002: 3rd (K. Leonard)
2001: 12th (K. Leonard)
2000: 7th (K. Leonard)
1999: 5th
1998: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
1997: 3rd

Derwent will be looking to make a real mark on their return to the Championship Section. The band gained promotion  after coming runer up in the First Section and that led them to Harrogate where they delivered a fine account of themselves in coming 4th.

There is a step up in class though and it is one that some bands do find difficult to over come. 7th place at Brass at the Guild Hall earlier this season may have shown the band that it could be hard work this weekend - but you never know.


DesfordDesford Colliery
Nigel Seaman
4BR Ranking: 

Last 11 Years:

2007: 2nd (N. Seaman)
2006: 6th (N. Seaman)
2005: 2nd (P. Parkes)
2004: 7th (P. Parkes)
2003: Winners (P. Parkes)
2002: Winners (P. Parkes)
2001: 3rd (P. Parkes)
2000: Winners (P. Parkes)
1999: 2nd
1998: Winners
1997: 3rd

Desford last won the title here in 2003 and in the intervening period they have had their ups and downs at this particular contest. 

Away from here though they have been enjoying an extended period of stability and success and their succesful Butlins defence was hallmarked by quality in both ensemble and solo lines. Now a band to fear on any stage they will be keen to regain the domestic bragging rights in the Midlands once more. The return of Nigel Seaman should be another boost and they should on form book their place back at London.  

Huw Thomas
4BR Ranking:  

Last 11 Years:
2007: 4th in First Section (H. Thomas) (prom)
2006: 5th (H. Thomas)
2005: 10th (M. Vause)
2004: 9th (S. Cooper)
2003: 13th (S. Cooper)
2002: 7th
2001: 7th
2000: 11th
1999: 10th
1998: 9th in Championship Section (rel)
1997: 11th

Following the promotion last year after coming 4th in the First Section, Enderby has been a busy band on the contest platform.

They notched up a double of 3rd and 6th at the Leicester Contest last November and were runner up at the West Midlands contest. Back in the top section for the first time in a decade they will now kow that they will have to be on tip top form if they are to take even a few scalps.


JaguarJaguar (Coventry)
Dave Lea
4BR Ranking:   

Last 11 Years:
2007: 8th (D. Lea)
2006: 2nd (D. Lea)
2005: 3rd (D. Lea)
2004: 6th (D. Lea)
2003: 9th (D. Lea)
2002: 7th (D. Lea)
2001: 7th (D. Lea)
2000: 6th (D. Lea)
1999: 4th
1998: 8th
1997: 4th

Dave Lea and his band has a pretty good record at the contest over the years although last year they fell away somewhat to only finish up in 8th place.  After the success of 2006 that was a major let down and they will be keen to return to form.

Recent form though hasn't been that great with 16th place at Pontins late last year and 10th place at Yeovil in the early part of this season. They have done well here before, but need to do so again this year to avaoid any potential relegation threats.  That should concentrate the minds. 


Jeremy Wise
4BR Ranking: 

Last 11 Years:

2007: 9th (J. Berryman)
2006: 2nd in First Section (J. Berryman) (prom)
2005: 3rd (J. Berryman)
2004: 11th in Championship Section (J. Berryman)(rel)
2003: Winners of First Section (J. Berryman) (prom)
2002: 8th
2001: Winners of First Section
2000: 12th in Championship Section (rel)
1999: Winners of First Section (prom)
1998: 9th
1997: 4th

Great to see Jeremy Wise back in the contesting fold after a few years away, and he will be keen to make an immediate impression with Kibworth. 

The band has been through a few major changes of late, both MD and player wise, so he may have a hard task ahead of him if they are to really make an impression here. On their day both parties have the quality to do just that, but a top six place may be about as good as it gets this time around.    

NewsteadNewstead Welfare
Duncan Beckley
4BR Ranking:  

Last 11 Years:
2007: 6th (D. Beckley)
2006: Winners (D. Beckley)
2005: 5th (D. Beckley)
2004: 8th (D. Beckley)
2003: 3rd (D. Beckley)
2002: 4th (D. Beckley)
2001: 11th (D. Beckley)
2000: 5th in First Section (D. Beckley) (prom)
1999: 4th 
1998: 10th
1997: Winners of Second Section (prom)

Duncan Beckley and Newstead tasted victory in 2006, and put up a brave defence of their title last year when they eventually came 6th. 

They may have their work cut out to make it two wins in three years, but you never know as the MD is always hungry for contestsing success and willing to put in the hard yakker to get it. 4th place at Brass at the Guild Hall was a decent season opener, so if they have upped their form since then they may well be in with a shout once more. 

Ratby Cooperative
Brett Baker
4BR Ranking:
Last 11 Years:

2007: 4th (B. Baker)
2006: 8th (M. Winter)
2005: 9th (M. Fowles)
2004: 5th (M. Fowles)
2003: 8th (K. Steward)
2002: 9th (K. Steward)
2001: 2nd in First Section (K. Steward) (prom)
2000: Winners of First Section (K. Steward)
1999: 10th in Championship Section (rel)
1998: 11th
1997: Winners of First Section (prom)

Brett Baker and Ratby really pulled one out of the hat here last year when they came home in a well deserved 4th place. Now they have to show that they are more than capable of doing it again - or even better.

Brett comes to the band fresh from being part of Balck Dyke's recent regional victory so he knows just what is required and with a settled line up of players and a touch of inspiration a possible podium place or better could be within their grasp.    

RaundsRaunds Temperance
Jonathan Mott
4BR Ranking: 

Last 11 Years:

2007: 12th (J. Mott)
2006: 9th in First Section (J. Fletcher) (prom)
2005: Winners of First Section (J. Fletcher)
2004: 2nd in Second Section (J. Fletcher) (prom)
2003: 5th (J. Fletcher)
2002: Winners of Third Section (prom)
2001: 2nd
2000: Winners of Fourth Section (prom)
1999: 3rd
1998: 10th
1997: DNC

Johnathan Mott and Raunds did a fine job last year when on their debut appearance they claimed a hard fought 12th place. 

That would have given them both invaluable experience and the essential knoweldge of just what it will take to make a mark here in future and they will need to up their form if they are to stave off any potential relegation threats. 

20th at Pontins wasn't a great result in anyones book so they will have to be on top form to make sure they avoid stepping on the trap door. 

SovereignSovereign Brass
David Maplestone
4BR Ranking:  

Last 11 Years:
2007: 3rd (T. Jones)
2006: 4th (P. Parkes)
2005: Winners (T. Jones)
2004: 3rd (T. Jones)
2003: 4th (W. Ruston)
2002: 10th (B. Hurdley)
2001: 5th (D. Maplestone)
2000: 5th (S. Cooper)
1999: 7th
1998: 7th
1997: 8th

Now a very consistent outfit, Sovereign just missed out on a second trip in three years to the Royal Albert Hall after they came 3rd last year under Trevor Jones. 

The band rounded off 2007 with a fine 3rd place at Pontins, but were way off the pace at Yeovil where they could only manage 11th place. David Maplestone is a talented MD and wil certainly bring a sense of vibrancy to Sovereign - but can they push for another appearance at the finals or will they just miss out again?


StaffsStaffordshire Band
Simon Kerwin
4BR Ranking:  

Last 11 Years:

2007: Winners (D. Maplestone)
2006: 7th (N. Boddice)
2005: 8th (S. Bastable)
2004: 2nd (S. Bastable)
2003: 6th (D. Maplestone) 
2002: Winners of First Section (D. Maplestone) (prom)
2001: 6th (A. Culshaw) (rel)
2000: 11th (A. Culshaw)
1999: 9th
1998: 2nd
1997: 6th

The newly appointed MD Simon Kerwin will surely be looking to make an immediate impact with his band as they seek to retain the title they won in splendid fashion here last year.

That victory led them to the Royal Albert Hall where they produced a decent account of themselves on a very difficult test piece to come 18th,  but they rounded off 2007 in disappointing fashion by coming a lowly 15th at Pontins. On their day they have shown they can beat all their rivals here, but they will only do that if they really up their form from Prestatyn.   

ThoresbyThoresby Colliery
Stan Lippeatt
4BR Ranking:   

Last 11 Years:

2007: 7th (M. Heartfield)
2006: 3rd (M. Heartfield)
2005: 7th (A. Duncan)
2004: 9th (J. Hudson)
2003: 5th (S. Lippeatt)
2002: 3rd (S. Lippeatt)
2001: 2nd (S. Lippeatt)
2000: 2nd in First Section (S. Lippeatt) (prom)
1999: 11th in Championship Section (rel)
1998: 10th
1997: 7th

Thoresby has just been off the pace a little here in recent years and perhaps failed to build on the excellent form they showed when Stan Lippeatt was last at the helm.

His return should signal a return to hard working musical values and it seems there is plenty of potential to work on after the band came 9th at Pontins and 7th at Butlins in January. A good outside bet perhaps for a qualification place if they hit top form.   

GUSVirtuosi GUS
John Berryman
4BR Ranking: 

Last 11 Years:

2007: 5th (D. Stowell)
2006: 5th (D. Stowell)
2005: 4th (D. Stowell)
2004: Winners (D. Stowell)
2003: 11th (R. Gray)
2002: 2nd (B. Grant)
2001: Winners (F. Renton)
2000: 3rd (M. White)
1999: 5th
1998: 5th
1997: 8th

The experienced John Berryman returns to his Alma Mater for another period in charge with the baton, and the former principal cornet player is better placed than just about anyone in the banding world to know just what is needed to make this band tick - and tick well.

On their day they are a fine outfit and showed at Butlins that they were not too far away from producing the prize winning goods once more when they came 5th overall. New signings and new confidence - hopefully it isn't misplaced and a first appearance at the Royal Albert may be on the cards since 2004 as a result..

Past Qualifiers:

2007: Staffordshire, Desford Colliery
2006: Newstead Welfare, Jaguar (Coventry)
2005: Woolley Pritchard Sovereign, Desford Colliery
2004: Travelsphere Holidays, Staffordshire
2003: Desford Colliery, Ransome
2002: Desford Colliery, Travelsphere Holidays
2001: Travelsphere Holidays, Thoresby Colliery
2000: Desford Colliery, NSK-RHP Ransome
1999: NSK-RHP Ransome, Desford Colliery
1998: Desford Colliery, Staffordshire Building Society
1997: NSK-RHP Ransome, Rhodian Brass
1996: Rigid Containers, Rhodian Brass, Desford Colliery*
1995: Desford Colliery, Rigid Containers
1994: William Davis Construction, Thoresby Colliery, Rigid Containers

 *Pre Qualified 


Midlands bands at London:

2007: 10th, 18th
2006: 15th, 17th
2005: 9th, 12th
2004: 6th, 13th
2003: 7th, 10th
2002: 8th, 16th
2001: 13th, 16th, 17th
2000: 2nd, 11th, 12th
1999: 4th, 20th
1998: 14th, 15th
1997: 9th, 14th
1996: 10th, 12th, 14th
1995: 3rd, 6th
1994: 9th, 20th  

4BR Prediction:

There is the potential here for either a straight forward rankings based result or a real out of blue shock. The Midlands has thrown up the odd outcome now and again and you would be hard pressed to guess the exact top three let alone a top six here with certainty before a note has been blown in anger. 

If it does go to form though then Jim Davies and Steve Pritchard -Jones should be looking at a battle between Desford, Virtuosi GUS and Sovereign, with Staffordshire, Thoresby, Jaguar and Ratby as a dark horse making up the top six. Then again...

1. Desford Colliery
2. Virtuosi GUS
3. Sovereign Brass
4. Thoresby Colliery
5. Staffordshire
6. Jaguar (Coventry)

Dark Horse: Ratby Co-operative


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