2009 North West Regional Championship - Third Section: Runners & Riders


Whoever gets through here could well be one of the favourites come Harrogate itself, but they first have to work out the winning formula from the King Arthur legend.

Winter GardensSunday 1st March
Spanish Hall
Adjudicator: Derek Broadbent
Test Piece: The Once and Future King  - Andrew Baker

Split Draw: 10.00am & 12.30pm

Commences: 11.00am 

bmpBMP Europe Ltd. Goodshaw
Iain McKnight

Last 13 Years:
2008: 6th (K. Gibbs)
2007: 12th (D. Ashworth)
2006: 9th (D. Ashworth)
2005: 7th (D. Ashworth)
2004: 16th (D. Ashworth)
2003: 11th in Second Section (C. Duxbury) (rel)
2002: 11th (A. Widdop)
2001: 14th (A. Widdop)
2000: 8th (R. Curran)
1999: 9th
1998: 8th
1997: DNC
1996: 11th

BMP come to the contest knowing they will have to up their form from the 10th place at Brass at the Guild Hall if they are to challenge for any honours this weekend.

Iain McKnight is the third MD to try is luck in the last three years with the band, but the good news is that they are making leaps up the results table in sixes in the past two years. Can that be an omen for victory on Sunday then?   

BoarshurstBoarshurst Silver
Dave Ashworth 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 18th (A. Hobbins)
2007: 12th in Second Section (D. Morris) (rel)
2006: =7th (D. Hebb)
2005: 7th (J. Webster)
2004: 2nd (J. Webster)
2003: 2nd in Third Section (J. Webster) (prom)
2002: 7th (J. Webster)
2001: 14th (B. Broadbent)
2000: 5th (D. Hebb)
1999: DNC
1998: 10th in Second Section (rel)
1997: 11th
1996: 7th in First Section (rel)

MD Dave Ashworth is certainly going to be a busy man over the next few weeks as he conducts in various parts of the country, but he will be making his first outing hoping to make sure Boarshurst don’t repeat last year’s result.

If they do then it could well be relegation problems, but a highly encouraging 7th place at Brass at the Guild Hall may point to where they may eventual end up on Sunday.  

City of ChesterCity of Chester
Philip Mottershead

Last 13 Years:
2008: 17th (P. Mottershead)
2007: 10th (P. Mottershead)
2006: 6th (P. Mottershead)
2005: 12th (P. Mottershead)
2004: 8th (D. Mitchell)
2003: 18th (D. Mitchell)
2002: 11th (D. Mitchell)
2001: 7th in Fourth Section (D. Mitchell) (prom)
2000: 15th (D. Mitchell)
1999: 4th
1998: 13th in Third Section (rel)
1997: 14th
1996: 16th

City of Chester will have one eye on making sure they do enough to avoid a possible fall through the relegation trap door this weekend, and Philip Mottershead and his band will know they will have their work cut out against a tough old field of rivals. 

They have been dropping away somewhat here in the last couple of years so time for a rallying call to arms and a push back up the results table.  

Dobcross SilverDobcross Silver
Grenville Moore 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 10th (D. Hadfield)
2007: DNC (rel)
2006: 5th (D. Hadfield)
2005: 6th (D. Hadfield)
2004: 7th (D. Hadfield)
2003: 5th (D. Hadfield)
2002: 6th in First Section (D. Hadfield) (prom)
2001: 3rd (S. Wood)
2000: 4th (S. Wood)
1999: 10th
1998: 2nd
1997: 7th
1996: 13th in Championship Section (rel)

Grenville Moore takes over the baton from Denis Hadfield at Dobcross this year and he will be hoping to get the band back on the course that saw them challenge regularly for a qualification place.

He has plenty of experience to fall back on of course and a young band that has plenty of talented players in the ranks.  

Dobcross YouthDobcross Youth 2003
Brian Lamb 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 19th (B. Lamb)
2007: 14th (T. Griffiths)
2006: 5th in Fourth Section  (T. Griffiths) (prom)
2005: 6th (T. Griffiths)
2004: 6th (T. Griffiths)
Did not compete before 2004
Another youthful outfit (average age of just 14) from the amazing conveyor belt of talent that is centered on Dobcross.

Brian Lamb takes over from the founder Ted Griffiths this year and it is a hard act to follow. He will also know that they will have to perform better than last year if they are to avoid any potential to be drawn into a relegation dog fight, but youthful enthusiasm and bags of talent will ensure they give it their best shot. 

Douglas Town
Gordon Higginbottom 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 5th (G. Higginbottom)
2007: 15th (G. Higginbottom)
2006: 11th (G. Higginbottom)
2005: 10th (G. Higginbottom)
2004: 7th in Fourth Section (G. Higginbottom) (prom)
2003: 9th (G. Higginbottom)
2002: 2nd (G. Higginbottom)
2001: 15th (G. Higginbottom)
2000: 11th (K. Mitchell)
1999: 5th
1998: 13th
1997: 11th
The annual trip across the Irish Sea once more for Douglas Town and Gordon Higginbottom, who has developed a very solid and competitive band under his command on the island.

5th place last year showed just what their potential was and another performance like that and they could well be looking to book a ferry in the direction of Harrogate in September. 

Trevor Halliwell 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 2nd (G. Moore)
2007: 13th (D. Thornton)
2006: 10th Second Section (D. Thornton) (rel)
2005: 11th (S. White)
2004: 6th (S. Rodgers)
2003: = 8th (C. Andrews)
2002: 7th (N. Sheppard)
2001: 9th in First Section (C. Roberts) (rel)
2000: 8th (C. Roberts)
1999: 4th in Second Section (prom)
1998: 5th
1997: 5th
1996: 3rd in Third Section (prom)
The vastly experienced Trevor Halliwell takes over the reigns at Eagley for this contest as regular MD Gareth Westwood will be battling it out in the top section with Poulton.

Not a bad sub though is he now, although he will know he will have his work cut out if he is to beat last year’s runners up spot.   7th place at Brass at the Guild Hall suggests that they may need to up their ante a little if they are to do just that. 

Louise Hough

Last 13 Years:
2008: 8th (L. Hough)
2007: Winners of Fourth Section (L. Hough) (prom)
2006: 2nd (L. Hough)

The former Fourth Section National Champions made a very encouraging debut in the Third Section last year in coming 8th, and the talented Louise Hough will be determined to improve on that this time around.

They had a local run out at Preston in the Fourth Section where they came 3rd, (and came runner up at the Wilkinson contest late last year) so that will have brushed the early season dust off the instruments for this assault.   

Karl Stott 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 15th (H. Bousefield)
2007: 11th in Second Section (J. Ludden) (rel)
2006: 9th (J. Ludden)
2005: 3rd (J. Ludden)
2004: 10th (J. Ludden)
2003: 7th in Third Section (H. Bousfield) (prom)
2002: 4th (H. Bousfield)
2001: 10th in Second Section (rel) (A. Jones)
2000: 12th (A. Jones)
1999: 14th
1998: 9th in First Section (rel)
1997: 9th
1996: 8th

Karl Stott is someone who knows just what it takes to make a mark at the highest level and the former bumper up at Nothop and current 3rd year music student at Salford University has been doing a fine job since taking over at Greenalls in April 2008.

8th place in the Second Section at Preston was a good return against strong opposition (and they came 10th at the Wilkinson Contest) and if they can build on that they should find themselves in the higher reaches of the results table come Sunday.  

hawkHawk Green (Marple)
Andy Wilson
Last 13 Years:

2008: 9th (P. Pavey)
2007: 9th (P. Pavey)
2006: 11th in Second Section (P. Pavey) (rel)
2005: 10th (P. Pavey)
2004: 11th (J. Richardson)
2003: 13th in First Section (J. Richardson) (rel)
2002: 10th (J. Richardson)
2001: 3rd in Second Section (D. Ashworth) (prom)
2000: 3rd (B. Harper)
1999: 11th in First Section (rel)
1998: 6th in Second Section (prom)
1997: 6th
1996: 3rd
Andy Wilson takes over the conducting duties at Hawk Green this year and will be looking to give the band the impetus to push on up the results table after two years in which they have comfortably held their own. 

After a few years when the band’s fortunes have dipped they seem to be a much more secure outfit now (they were 8th at Pontiins last November), so perhaps the first steps back to the First Section will be taken on Sunday? 

Lostock HallLostock Hall Memorial
John Wood

Last 13 Years:
2008: 2nd in Fourth Section (J. Wood) (prom)
2007: 6th (I. McKnight)
2006: 3rd (P. Edward)
2005: 14th in Third Section (K. Rollins) (rel)
2004: 15th (R. Heyes)
2003: 15th (R. Heyes)
2002: 13th (R. Heyes)
2001: DNC
2000: 8th (G. Martin)
1999: 5th
1998: 20th
1997: 11th
1996: 9th
The Fourth Section National Champions make the step up in class, but will surely not be fazed by it – especially if they can display the type of form shown in Harrogate last September and at Preston recently.

There they came runner up in the Second Section – a tremendous result that showed that they will not be lacking confidence for sure this weekend. A band to listen out for then.    

Andrew Warriner
Last 13 Years:
2008: 7th (A. Warriner)
2007: 6th (C. Larder)
2006: 10th (M. Vause)
2005: DNC in Second Section (rel)
2004: DNC
2003: 4th
2002: 2nd
2001: 2nd in Third Section (prom)
2000: 11th in Second Section (rel)
1999: 12th
1998: 12th
1997: 8th
1996: 10th in First Section (rel)
The experienced Andrew Warriner continues to do excellent work with Morecambe and will be looking for a further push towards the qualification places this year.

The form is good too, after the band came 3rd at Preston against a strong field of rivals (and were runner up at the Wilkinson contest). A repeat of that may just be enough to see them through to Harrogate.    

PembertonPemberton Old Wigan JJB B
Peter Ashley

Last 13 Years:
2008: 3rd (P. Ashley)
2007: 4th (P. Ashley)
2006: 7th (P. Ashley)
2005: 5th in Fourth Section (P. Ashley) (prom)
2004: Winners of Fourth Section (P. Ashley)
2003: 14th (P. Ashley)
2002: 6th (P. Ashley)
2001: Winners of Fourth Section (P. Ashley)
2000: 20th (P. Ashley)
1999: 13th

Peter Ashley has slowly but surely been developing Pemberton into a very competitive outfit at this level – as shown by the results they have achieved in the last few years.

The band will also be one of the favourites on current form too after a good showing at Butlins off the number 1 draw to come 7th, and 4th place in the Second Section at Preston to go with a podium finish at Pontins late last year. 

Ramsey Town
Robert Quane

Last 13 Years:
2008: 12th (R. Quane)
2007: 3rd in Fourth Section (R. Quane) (prom)
2006: 4th (R. Quane)

The second band from the Isle of Man to make it over the Irish Sea in this section, Ramsey is also developing into a very solid ensemble under the direction of Robert Quane.

12th last year on their first outing at this level was a fine achievement, and you sense they will be looking to push further this time around too.  

Skelmersdale Prize
John Ludden

Last 13 Years:
2008: 11th (G. Clough)
2007: 11th (A. Booth)
2006: DNC (rel)
2005: DNC
2004: 13th in Second Section (C. Dickinson)
2003: 7th (I. Bateson)
2002: 8th (G. Martin)
2001: 6th (P. Andrews)
2000: 3rd in Third Section (C. Dickinson) (prom)

John Ludden and Skelmersdale will be keen to push into the top ten this year at the very least, after two decent performances in the past two years have seen them finish on the outskirts of breaking the halfway barrier.

Plenty of experience to fall back on from the MD and some talented players around the stand, this could be just the right time to so just that, after coming runner up at Pontins in November. 

Stalybridge Old
John Binns

Last 13 Years:
2008: 11th in Second Section (J. Lewis) (rel)
2007: 10th (R. Collinson)
2006: 10th in First Section John Binns (rel)
2005: DNC
2004: 8th (J. Maines)
2003: 4th (A. Exley)
2002: 8th (A. White)
2001: 8th in Championship Section (D. Hirst) (rel)
2000: 10th (J. Cant)
1999: 2nd in First Section (prom)
1998: 9th in Championship Section (rel)
1997: 11th
1996: 9th
One of the most famous names in North West banding has been finding life tough on the contesting stage of late and sufferred its second relegation in three years after finishing 11th last year in the Second Section.

We did hear them in Pontins where they put in a decent showing in coming 11th and 6th place at Preston was highly encouraging too. John Binns has plenty of experience at the helm and he should be confident that they should hold their own on Sunday.  

Trimity GirlsTrinity Girls
Brian Harper 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 10th in Second Section (S. Barton) (rel)
2007: 3rd (S. Barton)
2006: DNC
2005: Winners of Third Section (S. Barton) (prom)
2004: 5th (S. Barton)
2003: Winners of Fourth Section (S. Barton) (prom)
2002: 7th (S. Barton)
2001: 3rd (G. Patmore)
2000: 7th (G. Patmore)
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: 17th in Third Section (rel)

A bit of well placed girl power will come in handy this weekend for Trinity as they look to bounce back from their first poor result at the contest since the start of the Millennium.

Brian Harper takes over the baton with a bit of a job to do, but as Ginger Spice very nearly once said – ‘I tell you what I want, what I really, really want – a qualification place for Harrogate’… 

Alan Widdop

Last 13 Years:
2008: Winners of Fourth Section (A. Widdop) (prom)
2007: 2nd (A. Widdop)
2006: 7th (A. Widdop)
2005: 10th (A. Widdop)
2004: 2nd (S. Wood)
2003: 12th (J. Hunter)
2002: 14th (J. Hunter)
2001: 13th (J. Hunter)
2000: 22nd (J. Hunter)
1999: 21st
1998: 10th
1997: 14th
1996: 8th

The powerful contesting force that is Uppermill makes its appearance in the Third Section this year and will surely be a band to watch out for.

Some great (and some unlucky) performances in the past couple of years (they won in fine style at Pontins in the Fourth Section) has seen them knocking on the doors at just about every contest they have appeared at under Alan Widdop. This is a step up in quality, but you have the feeling that they will be confident of challenging for the prizes once again.   

Valley BrassValley Brass (Haydock)
Dave Chadwick 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 13th (D. Chadwick)
2007: 8th (D. Chadwick)
2006: 15th (D. Chadwick)
2005: 2nd in Fourth Section (R. Wyatt) (prom)
2004: 8th (D. Chadwick)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 8th
2000: 14th
1999: 9th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC
Dave Chadwick has been doing a grand job at Valley Brass now for some time, and has taken a long term view about his band’s development (they were 3rd in the Second Section at the Wilkinson’s Contest).

That has meant that they have had the odd up and down since making the breakthrough to this section following their National Fourth Section win a couple of years back, but now could be the right time for them to challenge once more for a Harrogate qualification place.   

whitworthWhitworth Vale and Healey
John Binns 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 14th (J. Binns)
2007: 7th (J. Binns)
2006: 3rd (J. Binns)
2005: 6th (J. Binns)
2004: 13th (J. Binns)
2003: 9th (R. Milton)
2002: DNC
2001: 11th in Second Section (C. Myers) (rel)
2000: 13th (R. Milton)
1999: 7th in Third Section (prom)
1998: 3rd
1997: 9th
1996: 13th

John Binns will be a busy man on Sunday as he takes two bands in this section.

Whitworth Vale & Healey has just dropped off the pace a little in the past few years – from 3rd to 14th in fact in the last three outings, so he will be determined to arrest that decline pretty pronto. Don’t bet against him doing just that.

Past Qualifiers: 

2008: Oldham (Lees), Eagley, Pemberton Old Wigan JJB B
2007: Oldham (Lees), Middleton, Eccleston Brass
2006: Rainford, Flixton
2005: Trinity Girls, United Norwest 2000 Brass, Eccleston Brass
2004: Hoover Bolton, United Norwest 2000, Boarshurst Silver
2003: Diggle, Boarshurst, Hoover (Bolton)
2002: Wire Brass, Silk Brass, Middleton
2001: Manx Concert Brass, British Energy Morecambe
2000: Old Hall Brass, Skelmersdale
1999: Manx Concert Brass, Dobcross Youth
1998: United Norwest Co-op Normid 2000, Oldham Brass ‘97
1997: Ashton Under Lyne, Milnrow, Manx Concert Brass
1996: Hollingworth, Pemberton Old
1995: Goodshaw, Hollingworth   

North West bands at the Finals: 

2008: 4th, 8th, 14th
2007: 1st, 3rd, 9th
2006: 2nd, 5th
2005: 6th, 7th, 9th
2004: 1st, 4th, 6th
2003: 1st, 2nd, 8th
2002: 1st, 2nd, 3rd
2001: 1st, 10th
2000: 4th, 7th
1999: 2nd, 11th
1998: 1st, 4th, 18th    

4BR Prediction: 

Looks set to be an interesting and highly enjoyable contest this with a handful of bands who have the ability and the confidence to force their way into the reckoning for a trip to Harrogate.

Of those we like the look of it is Lostock Hall who seem to be the band to beat at the moment – especially after their Preston outing. We think they will be hard pushed by the likes of Uppermill, Pemberton, Morecambe, Dobcross Silver and Eagley. Our dark horse is Douglas Town.

1. Lostock Hall Memorial
2. Pemberton
3. Uppermill
4. Morecambe
5. Dobcross Silver
6. Eagley

Dark Horse: Douglas Town


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