2008 London & Southern Counties Regional Championship - Runners & Riders: First Section


James Cook has been a severe test all around the country, so can the best bands here steer themselves through potential choppy seas.

Saturday 15th March
Adjudicator: David Horsfield
Test Piece: James Cook - Circumnavigator – Gilbert Vinter

Commences: after Section 3 results
Draw: 1.30pm

BeocntreeBecontree Brass
G. Chambers

Last 12 Years:
2007: 14th (D. Bright)
2006: 14th (G. Sheldon)
2005: 10th (G. Sheldon)
2004: Winners of Second Section  (G. Sheldon) (prom)
2003: 8th (J. Morahan)
2002: 2nd (W. Rumford)
2001: 2nd in Third Section (W. Rumford) (prom)
2000: 4th (W. Rumford)
1999: 12th
1998: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)
1997: 2nd
1996: 2nd

It’s not unfair to suggest that life has been tough going for Becontree since then gained promotion from the Second Section in 2004. 

The past two years have seen the band not at their best and they have finished low down the pecking order in 14th on their last two appearances.  They need to put in a decent show this time if they are to survive the dreaded drop though and they perhaps showed that they may just do that by coming 11th recently at Butlins. 

Colin Swaep

Last 12 Years:
2007: 2nd in Second Section (C. Swaep) (prom)
2006: 10th (C. Swaep)
2005: 3rd (C. Swaep)
2004: 12th (C. Sweap)
2003: 4th (G. Barber)
2002: 9th (C. Swaep)
2001: 10th (A. Broadbent)
2000: 3rd (A. Broadbent)
1999: 11th
1998: 5th in Third Section (prom)
1997: N/K
1996: 3rd in Third Section

Cawston found their form here last year finishing 2nd in the Second Section, booking a trip to Harrogate and promotion all at the same time.  There they came a decent 14th against a strong field.

They started life in the First Section discovering how tough it can be finishing 22nd at Butlins in January but they'll relish the chance to play on Saturday we are sure. 

City of CambridgeCity of Cambridge
Peter Bassano

Last 12 Years:
2007: 2nd (P. Bassano)
2006: 9th (C. Paterson)
2005: 7th (R. Gray)
2004: 9th (R. Hull)
2003: 15th (R. Hull)
2002: 8th (R. Hull)
2001: 11th (P. Hudson)
2000: Winners of Second Section (P. Hudson) (prom)
1999: DNC
1998: 12th in First Section (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: 9th

Peter Bassano leads Cambridge’s challenge once again and twelve months ago the partnership finished runners up and they booked a trip to Harrogate where they came 15th. 

In January they came 6th at Butlins so that should be just the right confidence builder they needed as they prepare for thir first appearance back at this level since 1998. 

DenhamDenham Hendon Brass
G. Davies

Last 12 Years:
2007: 7th (G. Davies)
2006: 2nd in Second Section (G. Davies) (prom)
2005: 15th in First Section (G. Davies) (rel)
2004: 15th (G. Davies)
2003: 6th (G. Davies)
2002: 15th (P. Cox)
2001: 11th in Championship Section (D. Richards) (rel)
2000: 10th (N/K)
1999: 8th in First Section (prom)
1998: 4th
1997: 3rd
1996: 8th in Championship Section (rel)

Denham Hendon bounced back into the First Section last year and put on a fine show that was rewarded with 7th place.

They’re certainly a very capable band that won’t be short of confidence after last year and if they can be play to the same potential again, a podium place may beckon. 

G. Green

Last 12 Years:
2007: Winners of the Second Section (C. Green) (prom)
2006: 3rd (G. Green)
2005: 11th in First Section (G. Green) (rel)
2004: 17th (G. Green)
2003: 8th (G. Green)
2002: 6th (G. Green)
2001: 6th (G. Green)
2000: 9th (G. Green)
1999: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
1998: 5th
1997: N/K
1996: 7th 

Egham will be looking to make a real impression here this weekend as they return to the First Section for the first time since 2005.

Last year they won the Second Section in some style and went on to come a hard earned 11th at Harrogate, whilst they recently came 13th at Butlins to give them a foretaste of that they need to do here. It should hold then in good stead.

FriaryFriary Guildford Brass
Chris King

Last 12 Years:
2007: 9th in Championship Section (C. King) (rel)
2006: 7th (K. Maxwell)
2005: 8th (K. Maxwell)
2004: 4th (K. Maxwell)
2003: Winners of First Section (K. Maxwell) (prom)
2002: 5th (K. Maxwell)
2001: 13th (K. Maxwell)
2000: 5th (K. Maxwell)
1999: 10th in Championship Section (rel)
1998: 9th
1997: 5th
1996: 5th

The Friary Guildford/Chris King partnership is really bearing fruit.  They’ve come back down into the 1st Section after not the most comfortable of times in the top section but have since flourished, coming 4th at Pontins last November and coming an excellent 5th at Yeovil, bating a number of top section bands in the process.

If they can repeat the form shown since November, they should fancy themselves to do very well indeed. 

HorshamHorsham Borough
K. Maxwell

Last 12 Years:
2007: 9th (K. Maxwell)
2006: 5th (G. Bacon)
2005: 2nd in Second Section (G. Bacon) (prom)
2004: 10th (G. Bacon)
2003: 5th (G. Bacon)
2002: 4th (L. Barron)
2001: 3rd (L. Barron) (prom)
2000: 7th (L. Barron)
1999: N/K
1998: 10th
1997: N/K
1996: 4th

Horsham have demonstrated some real stability over the past two years since gaining promotion to the First Section.   

Having finished 5th in 2006, they dropped a touch to 9th last year, but still had enough about them to show that if they can up their form a touch then another top six or even podium place may be on the cards. 

Ipswich and Norwich Co-op
Robin Norman

Last 12 Years:
2007: 5th (R Norman)
2006: 11th in Championship Section (R. Norman) (rel)
2005: 10th (S. Kenna)
2004: 9th (S. Kenna)
2003: 3rd in First Section (S. Kenna) (prom)
2002: 11th (S. Kenna)
2001: 5th (S. Kenna)
2000: 4th (S. Kenna)
1999: 9th
1998: 9th
1997: 2nd
1996: 10th in Championship Section (rel)

Ipswich and Norwich came down last year into the First Section and they didn’t quite do enough to bounce straight back or qualify for Harrogate finishing fifth. It was a good soid effort though and showed that there was potential for better days to come.

That was certainly shown at Butlins where they came 4th and if they can maintain that form again on Saturday, Harrogate is a realistic possibility. 

JerseyJersey Premier Brass
Tim Pritchard

Last 12 Years:
2007: 11th (T.Pritchard)
2006: Winners of Second Section (T. Pritchard) (prom)
2005: Winners of Third Section (G. Saynor) (prom)
2004: 13th (T. Pritchard)
2003: 17th in Third Section (T. Pritchard) (West of England)
2002: 15th in Second Section (T. Pritchard) (West of England)
2001: DNC
2000: 14th in Second Section (T. Pritchard) (West of England)
1999: 4th in Second Section (West of England)

The ongoing success story that is Jersey Premier Brass just took a bit of a breather last year as they found their feet in the First Section, finishing 11th. 

They’ll come to Stevenage though intent on making a bigger impression this time we are certain and retaining their First Section status may just be the least of their ambitions after they showed pretty decent forming coming 8th at Butlins a couple of months ago. 

Matthews Norfolk Brass
David Stowell

Last 12 Years:
2007: 8th (D. Stowell)
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: Winners of First Section (prom)
2001: 10th in Championship Section (rel)
2000: 7th
1999: 9th
1998: 8th
1997: 4th in First Section (prom)
1996: 4th

It was good to see Matthews Norfolk Brass back at the contest after four years away last year.  Finishing 8th was a terrific result and they were unlucky not to have finished higher. 

This time around, a podium position could well be a possibility but they will have to up their form from coming 4th at the West Midlands contest late last year. 

NorthfleetNorthfleet Brass
Andrew Austin

Last 12 Years:
2007: 12th (A. Caldon)
2006: 12th in Championship Section (A. Caldon) (rel)
2005: 6th (D. Lewis)
2004: 2nd in First Section (D. Lewis) (prom)
2003: 5th (D. Lewis)
2002: Winners of Second Section (prom)
2001: 17th in First Section (rel)
2000: 12th
1999: 4th in Second Section (prom)
1998: 3rd
1997: 6th
1996: 9th

Northfleet are another band that dropped down a section last year and they didn’t have the greatest of days at the office.  Having finished 12th, the last thing they’ll want is another disappointing result that could possibly see them drop into the Second Section.

They will be determined to do well then and banish any lingering distant thoughts of that happening. 

RegentRegent Brass
Alan Duguid

Last 12 Years:
2007: 10th (A. Duguid)
2006: 10th (R. Ward)
2005: 5th (R. Ward)
2004: 11th in Championship Section (R. Ward) (rel)
2003: 5th (G. Wyatt)
2002: 10th (G. Wyatt)
2001: 5th (P. Littlemore)
2000: 8th in Championship Section (P. Littlemore)
1999: 2nd (P. Littlemore) (prom)
1998: 2nd (N. Taken)
1997: 7th in Championship Section (P. Fensom) (rel)
1996: 12th (P. Fensom)

Regent were solid enough here in 2005, but over the past couple of years they’ve finished 10th and never quite produced the form they knew they could. 

Under Scotsman Alan Duguid, they’ll be looking to push for a return to the top six at least and they showed good form in coming runner up at the Leicester contest late last year. 

SANDHURSTSandhurst Silver
Ian McElligott

Last 12 Years:
2007: 6th (R. Burke)
2006: 7th (R. Burke)
2005: Winners of Second Section (R. Burke) (prom)
2004: Winners of Third Section (R. Burke) (prom)
2003: 3rd (R. Burke)
2002: Winners of Fourth Section (R. Burke) (prom)
2001: Winners of Fourth Section (R. Burke)
2000: 16th (R. Burke)
1999: 24th
1998: 28th
1997: N/K
1996: 16th in Fourth Section

Sandhurst is an interesting one for sure.  The Berkshire outfit has risen through the sections in recent years under Roger Burke and have acquitted themselves well too in the First Section here in the past two years.

Roger has departed though in the past year and it’s the experienced Ian McElligott who is charged with leading them on Saturday.  Having finished 6th last year, they will be having an eye on Harrogate this time around, although they will have to up their form from coming 17th at Butlins earlier this season. 

SohamSoham Comrades
G. Sheldon

Last 12 Years:
2007: 10th Championship Section (P. Filby) (rel)
2006: 6th (C. King)
2005: 7th (C. King)
2004: 6th (P. Filby)
2003: 4th (P. Filby)
2002: 4th (P. Filby)
2001: 7th (P. Filby)
2000: 5th (P. Filby)
1999: 7th (P. Filby)
1998: 3rd (P. Filby) (prom)
1997: 6th (P. Filby)
1996: 5th (P. Filby)

After a long and very secure life in the Championship Section, Soham dropped through the relegation trap door last year after something of a surprise 10th place consigned them to the First Section.

With plenty of quality still in the ranks, they’ll be looking to bounce straight back up into the Championship Section and book a place at Harrogate in September under the direction of Graham Sheldon. 

St AlbansSt. Albans City
D. Shead 

Last 12 Years:
2007: 13th (S. Garman)
2006: 11th (S. Garman)
2005: 17th (S. Garman)
2004: 2nd in Second Section (S. Garman) (prom)
2003: 9th (S. Garman)
2002: 5th in Third Section (W. Rumford) (prom)
2001: 8th (W. Rumford)
2000: 13th in Fourth Section (W. Rumford) (prom)
1999: 3rd in Fourth Section
1998: 8th
1997: N/K
1996: 10th

St. Albans are a band that have had a very successful period under the leadership of Stuart Garman but he is no longer at the band and it falls to David Shead to take them this weekend. 

They’ve finished 11th and 13th over the past couple of years and they’ll be looking to break into the top ten if possible, although they will have to up their form after coming 7th. 

Past Qualifiers:

2007: Milton Keynes Broseley, City of Cambridge
2006: Haverhill, KM Medway
2005: Staines Brass, Clacton on Sea, Wantage Silver
2004: Staines Brass, Northfleet Brass, Clacton On Sea Co-operative
2003: Friary Guildford, Zone One Brass
2002: Matthews Norfolk Brass*, Welwyn Garden City
2001: Alliance Brass, Staines Brass
2000: Bedford Town, Staines
1999: Haverhill, Regent Brass
1998: Alder Valley Brass, Regent Brass
1997: City of Oxford, Ipswich Co-op
1996: Hatfields of Colchester, Bedford Town
1995: City of Cambridge, City of Oxford

*Didn't take place at Finals – replaced by Alder Valley 

London Bands at the Finals:

2007: 12th, 15th
2006: 12th, 13th
2005: 2nd, 12th, 15th
2004: 3rd, 16th, 8th
2003: 5th, 15th
2002: 14th, 16th
2001: 2nd, 14th
2000: 7th, 14th
1999: 10th, 13th
1998: 9th, 16th 

4BR Prediction:

This promises to be a cracking contest for the fourth year in a row, with a number of bands fancying their chances of not just taking a podium prize but making the trip to Harrogate and a crack at the National title.

City of Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich Co-op, Sandhurst Silver and Soham Comrades are all expected to challenge for us, but our hunch is that Friary Guildford could be the band to beat on the day.  After that, it could be a real old dogfight for the prizes so sit back and enjoy.

1. Friary Guildford
2. City of Cambridge
3. Ipswich and Norwich Co-op
4. Sandhurst
5  Denham Hendon
6. Matthews Norfolk Brass

Dark Horse: Jersey


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