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


Can Fodens retain their title and create even more history of their own at the Winter Gardens?

Sunday 1st March
Opera House
Adjudicator: David Read
Test Piece: Salute to Youth – Gilbert Vinter

Draw: 2.30pm
Commences: 3.30pm approx after Fourth Section results

wireBactiguard Wire Brass
Paul Andrews
4BR Ranking: 57

Last 13 Years:
2008: 8th (P. Andrews)
2007: 10th (P. Andrews)
2006: Winners of First Section (P. Andrews) (prom)
2005: Winners of Second Section (P. Andrews) (prom)
2004: 2nd (J. Hinckley)
2003: 6th (P. Andrews)
2002: Winners of Third Section (P. Andrews) (prom)

Wire Brass has started to find its contesting feet at the Championship level in the last two years, although they are still lacking a bit of consistency.

The good news is though that they are moving in the right direction under Paul Andrews, although they will have been disappointed to have only come 7th at Brass at the Guild Hall recently after claiming the runner up spot at Pontins late last year. 8th last year – an outside bet for a top six this time around perhaps? 

Philip Chalk
4BR Ranking:  8

Last 13 Years:
2008: 3rd (P. Chalk)
2007: 5th (P. Parkes)
2006: 2nd (S. Stonehouse)
2005: 2nd (P. Parkes)
2004: 2nd (A. Withington)
2003: 2nd (Steve Bastable)
2002: 2nd (H. Snell)
2001: Winners (H. Snell)
2000: 2nd (J. Gourlay)
1999: 4th
1998: 2nd
1997: Winners
1996: Winners

The 13 time winners last tasted success here in 2001, but apart from 2007, they have continued to produce quality performances to get themselves to London.

Phil Chalk is doing a fine job in rebuilding the band and recent performances have confirmed that they are just about back to being true contenders at the majors once more. They have had a work out on the piece at the RNCM Festival of Brass and if they can up the ante from there they may well be in line for another trip to London and a possible 14th title.  

Garry Cutt
4BR Ranking:  3

Last 13 Years:
2008: Winners (G. Cutt)
2007: Winners (G. Cutt)
2006: Winners (G. Cutt)
2005: 3rd (G. Cutt)
2004: 4th (T. Wyss)
2003: Winners (R. Gray)
2002: Winners (R. Gray)
2001: 2nd (J. Gourlay)
2000: Winners (N. Childs)
1999: Winners (N. Childs)
1998: Winners (N. Childs)
1997: 2nd
1996: 3rd

The clear cut favourites will know that they cannot take anything for granted – as they have come a cropper when they have taken their eye off the contesting ball in the past.

That said, they are playing with such tremendous authority at present and Garry Cutt was a beacon of Vinteresque excellence at the RNCM Festival of Brass. If they win they will equal CWS Manchester as a four time winner, and with qualification already in the bag they are free to go for it big style. 

Jason Katsikaris
4BR Ranking: 6

Last 13 Years:
2008: 2nd (J. Katsikaris)
2007: 2nd (R. Gray)
2006: 3rd (R. Gray)
2005: Winners (R. Gray)
2004: Winners (G. Cutt)
2003: 4th (G. Cutt)
2002: 3rd (G. Cutt)
2001: 3rd (G. Cutt)
2000: 3rd (H. Snell)
1999: 2nd
1998: 3rd
1997: 3rd
1996: 2nd

Perhaps the one band that could beat Fodens even if the favourites do play to top form. As shown at the RNCM Festival of Brass, you get your monies worth from Leyland nowadays, even if they are playing the National Anthem off the number 1 draw.

That said, they are prone to inconsistency and they have been looking for a principal cornet player to lead their assault for some time now. Whoever gets the job, a great deal will depend on them if they are to gain their 9th title. A trip to London though should be well within their grasp. 

PembertonPemberton Old JJB Wigan
Mark Bentham
4BR Ranking: 52

Last 13 Years:
2008: 10th (M. Peacock)
2007: 7th (M. Peacock)
2006: 8th (M. Peacock)
2005: 7th (M. Peacock)
2004: Winners of First Section (M. Peacock) (prom)
2003: 9th (N. Sheppard)
2002: Winners of First Section (A. Lawton)
2001: 8th (J. Maines)
2000: 2nd in Second Section (J. Maines) (prom)
1999: 13th
1998: 3rd
1997: 7th in Third Section (prom)
1996: 2nd

A dark horse or a good outside bet for a possible qualification place? Perhaps the latter given their recent resurgence under the baton of Mark Bentham – shown to good effect with their recent win at Brass at the Guild Hall contest, although they struggled to make a mark at the Scottish Open late last year, coming 10th.

They have held their own at this contest since gaining promotion in 2004, but last year they were off the pace and they will have to post a good finish to ensure there is no threat of possible relegation. Odds suggest they will be able to do that and more.  

Gareth Westwood
4BR Ranking: 148

Last 13 Years:
2008: 6th in First Section (G. Clegg) (prom)
2007: 2nd (S. Tarry)
2006: 6th (S. Tarry)
2005: 9th (S. Tarry)
2004: 7th (S. Tarry)
2003: 7th (S. Tarry)
2002: 4th in Second Section (G. Clough) (prom)
2001: 2nd (G. Clough)
2000: 4th (G. Clough)
1999: 14th
1998: 7th in Third Section (prom)
1997: 5th
1996: 7th

Promotions can come in odd circumstances at times, and Poulton may well have thought that their opportunity was missed last year when they only came 6th in the First Section.

Not so – and so this weekend the band will line up with the best under Gareth Westwood – a tough ask, but with some recent quality signings they should be confident of at least holding their own. Anything more will be a huge bonus. 

Roberts BakeryRoberts Bakery
Colin Cranson
4BR Ranking: Outside top 200

Last 13 Years:
2008: Winners of First Section (C. Cranson) (prom)
2007: 4th (C. Cranson)
2006: 8th (R. Evans)
2005: 4th (R. Evans)
2004: 10th (C. Cranson)
2003: 10th (C. Cranson)
2002: 3rd (C. Cranson)
2001: 11th (C. Cranson)
2000: 10th in Championship Section (C. Cranson) (rel)
1999: 9th
1998: 7th
1997: 3rd in First Section (prom)
1996: 3rd in First Section
Roberts Bakery rise once more to the Championship Section – for the first time since  2000 in fact.

Since then they have worked hard under the baton of the vastly experienced Colin Cranson, winning the First Section last year and coming 12th at Harrogate. It’s a big step up in class but they should be in decent shape to hold their own. It’s a tough ask though. 

Mike Fowles
4BR Ranking: 85

Last 13 Years:
2008: 9th (D. Evans)
2007: Winners of First Section (D. Evans) (prom)
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: 9th (C. Whiteoak)
2003: 4th (G. Hetherington)
2002: Winners of Fourth Section (G. Hetherington) (prom)
2001: 6th (G. Hetherington)
2000: 9th (G. Hetherington)
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

The amazing phoenix from the flames, Timperely will be fronted by the experienced Mike Fowles this year.

With some very canny recent signings (including former YBS top man Staurt Lingard on principal cornet) and the MD, they appear to be making sure that they are not just there to make up the numbers either. 9th last year, a possible top six this year could be on the cards. 

CreweUnited Co-op (Crewe)
Jef Sparkes
4BR Ranking: 78

Last 13 Years:
2008: 5th (J. Sparkes)
2007: 5th in First Section (J. Sparkes) (prom)
2006: 2nd (J. Sparkes)
2005: 8th in Championship Section (J. Sparkes) (rel)
2004: 11th (J. Sparkes)
2003: Winners of First Section (J. Sparkes) (prom)
2002: 5th (J. Sparkes)
2001: 2nd (J. Sparkes)
2000: 7th (J. Sparkes)
1999: 8th
1998: 8th
1997: 5th
1996: 5th

The excellent work Jeff Sparkes has done with United Co-op (Crewe) was rewarded last year with a tremendous 5th place. The trick is to see if they can repeat that this time around, although they haven’t had a contesting run out so far this season to test their current form.

Jeff’s connection with Fariey won’t mean a conflict of interest and with plenty of experience on the ranks they will be looking for another top six finish once more. 

coopUnited Norwest Co-op Milnrow
John Ward
4BR Ranking: 90

Last 13 Years:
2008: 7th (J. Ward)
2007: 6th (A. White)
2006: =10th (A. White)
2005: 8th in First Section (A. White) (prom)
2004: 4th (A. White)
2003: 2nd (C. Whiteoak)
2002: 11th (D. Hebb)
2001: 6th (D. Hebb)
2000: 5th in Second Section (I. Brownbill) (prom)
1999: Winners of Second Section
1998: 4th in First Section (rel)
1997: 8th
1996: 10th in Championship Section (rel)

An interesting one this. The past two years Milnrow has certainly punched above its weight in coming 6th and 7th, but expectations will be higher this time around.

John Ward has a young band under his command, one that can really sparkle on occassions, but can also be prone to inconsistency too. Butlins showed that this year, where they came 10th. This may be a piece to suit them though, so another good outing should be within their capabilities.  

Andrew Berryman
4BR Ranking: 27
Last 13 Years:
2008: 4th (A. Berryman)
2007: 3rd (A. Berryman)
2006: 4th (Dr R. Newsome)
2005: 4th (P. McCann)
2004: 3rd (R. Curran)
2003: 11th (R. Curran)
2002: 5th (B. Hurdley)
2001: 7th (B. Grant)
2000: 5th (A. Lawton)
1999: 6th
1998: 5th
1997: 4th
1996: 7th

The return of Andrew Berryman to lead Wingates from the dusty plains of the Arabian desert, may sound romantic, but it has a practical purpose – to get the band to London.

Wingates has missed out in the last few years and they know they will have to play to the top of their form if they are to beat off Leyland and Fairey in particular to get back to Kensington for the first time since 2004.

Butlins showed that they will need to up their game on the set work discipline (the entertainment was great) but they have plenty of quality in the ranks and the return of ‘Berryman of Arabia’ may well be the key.  

Past Qualifiers: 

2008: Fodens*, Leyland, Fairey
2007: Fodens, Leyland
2006: Fodens, Fairey, Leyland*
2005: Leyland*, Fairey FP (Music)
2004: Leyland, Fairey FP (Music)*, Wingates
2003: Fodens*, Williams Fairey*, Haydock, Leyland
2002: Fodens*, Williams Fairey*, Leyland, Besses
2001: Williams Fairey, Fodens*, Leyland
2000: Fodens*, Williams Fairey*, Leyland
1999: Fodens, Leyland, Williams Fairey*, Marple
1998: Fodens*, Williams Fairey*, Leyland, Marple
1997: Williams Fairey, BBS
1996: Williams Fairey, BNFL
1995: Wingates, BNFL, Williams Fairey*
1994: BNFL, Marple, Williams Fairey*
1993: BNFL, BBS, Williams Fairey
*Pre Qualified    

How North West bands did in London: 

2008: 2nd, 5th, 8th
2007: 2nd, 13th
2006: 5th, 6th, 7th
2005: 1st, 8th
2004: 10th, 16th, 19th
2003: 1st, 5th, 17th, 20th
2002: 1st, 4th, 13th, 15th
2001: 2nd, 4th, 6th
2000: 3rd, 8th, 14th
1999: 1st, 5th, 7th, 10th
1998: 3rd, 4th, 8th, 11th
1997: 2nd, 3rd
1996: 4th, 7th
1995: 5th, 8th, 10th
1994: 2nd, 7th, 8th
1993: 1st, 5th, 11th    

4BR Prediction: 

On paper this contest should be cut and dried. If Fodens turn on the class then it is theirs for the taking, but they won’t be complacent that’s for sure.

With two additional qualification places up for grabs, it could well be a fight to the death between Leyland, Fairey, Wingates, Pemberton and Timperley to see who joins them there.

Leyland have the class to make it with something to spare and Fairey too should have just enough about them to repel Wingates, Pemberton and Timperley. Our dark horse for this one is Wire Brass.

1. Fodens*
2. Leyland
3. Fairey
4. Wingates
5. Pemberton Old
6. Timperley

Dark Horse: Wire Brass



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