2009 Welsh Regional Championship - Fourth Section: Runners & Riders


Not even a scrum full of bands this year to tackle The Talisman. At least it will be all over in time for the rugby then

BrangSunday 15th March
Adjudicator: Alan Hope
Test Piece: The Talisman – Frank Hughes

Draw: 10.00am 
Commences: 11.00am

CorusCorus (Port Talbot)
Colin Hogg

Last 13 Years
2008: DNC
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: 5th in First Section (D. Mahoney)
1997: 7th in First Section (D. Mahoney)
1996: 3rd in First Section (E. Clarke)

The former BSC Port Talbot Band returns this year after a decade away from the contest stage in Swansea.

Times change of course (and names – no more British Steel Corporation) but this band could well make a mark straight away under the direction of the experienced Colin Hogg. Lots of signings and a sense of adventure as they showed in winning the Fourth Section at Treorchy.  A first win since 1992 may be a farieytale return. 

R. Davies 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 7th (C. John)
2007: 4th (C. John)
2006: 14th (A. Jones)
2005: 10th (A. Jones)
2004: 13th (A. Jones)
2003: 13th (J. Jones)
2002: 12th (J. Jones)
2001: 11th (J. Jones)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Great to see Crwbin making the trip once again, and the band from West Wales is starting to build very nicely indeed.

Last year they put in a very decent show, which didn’t quite get the luck it deserved, whilst they ended the 2008 season by coming 3rd in the Third Section at Treorchy. A result like that will do very nicely. 

Ebbw Vale
C. Thomas

Last 13 Years:
2008: 4th (C. Thomas)
2007: 8th (C. Thomas)
2006: 9th (J. Rooke)
2005: DNC
2004: 7th (B. Davies)
2003: 8th (A. Browning)
2002: 7th
2001: 6th
2000: 7th in Second Section (rel)
1999: 10th
1998: Winners of Third Section (prom)
1997: 11th in Second Section (rel)
1996: 6th

Ebbw Vale are making solid progress under Ceri Thomas and they were not too far away from securing a qualification place for Harrogate last year.

Since then they have come 14th at Pontins and 6th in the Third Section at Treorchy late last season, so they shouldn’t be too far away from the qualification action once more if they play to form.   

NewportNewport Borough
Alun Hathaway

Last 13 Years:
2008: 3rd (M. Davies)
2007: 10th (M. Davies)
2006: 8th (M. Davies)
2005: 12th (M. Davies)
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 6th in Second Section (A. Williams) (rel)
2000: 7th (L. Baglin)
1999: 6th
1998: 4th
1997: 4th
1996: 10th
Another band moving in the right musical direction it seems. Newport just missed out on a trip to the Finals last year and they will return determined to put that right this time around for sure.

13th at Pontins and 5th in the Third Section at Treorchy suggests they won’t be too far away if they play to the top of their form too. 

Pontypool Brass
Patrick O’Leary

Last 13 Years:
2008: DNC
2007: 9th (P. Hallahan)
2006: 6th (J. Pippen)
2005: 4th (J. Pippen)
2004: 9th (M. Jones)
2003: 9th in Third Section (rel) (M. Jones)
2002: 6th (M. Jones)
2001: DNC
2000: 3rd in Third Section (A. Williams)
1999: 8th in Second Section (rel)
1998: 9th in Second Section
1997: 6th in Second Section
1996: 7th in Second Section

Always good to welcome a band back, and Pontypool return this year under the baton of Patrick O’Leary, who led Blaenavon Concert to a qualification place a couple of years ago.

They seem to be in decent enough form too, as they ended last season with an encouraging 4th place in the Third Section at the Treorchy contest.  

Upper Rhondda
Tom Davoren

Last 13 Years:
2008: 6th (A. Jones)
2007: 5th (R. Griffiths)
2006: 7th (J. Tanaka)
2005: 14th (W. Williams)

One to watch out for – and we don’t just mean for the host of cracking young players around the stand with Upper Rhondda either.

The man in the middle is the man of the moment in Welsh banding, Tom Davoren - and he has a band that not only came runner up in the Third Section at Treorchy, but also came runner up in the Welsh League too. A bit of a dark horse then?

YstradgynalsiYstradgynlais Public
P. Williams

Last 13 Years:
2008: DNC
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: 7th (A. Morgan)
2003: 11th (A. Jones)
2002: 13th
2001: DNC
2000: 12th
1999: 8th
1998: N/K 4th Section
1997: N/K 4th Section
1996: N/K

Great to see Ystradgynlais back in the contesting fold after four years in the wilderness.

The last time the band won a title here was back in 1982 when they took the Third Section honours, but they should be confident on their return aftercoming runner up in the Welsh League at this level in 2008, rounding off the season claiming 3rd place at Treorchy.  

Past Qualifiers: 

2008: Crosskeys Silver, Severn Tunnel
2007: Crosskeys Silver, Gwaun Cae Gurwen (Blaenafon Concert withdrew before the finals)
2006: Llwydcoed, Crosskeys Silver
2005: Royal Oakley, Llwydcoed
2004: Radyr and Morganstown, Goodwick Brass
2003: Harlech, Ogmore Valley
2002: Conway Town, Porthaethwy Menai Bridge
2001: Llanelli and District, Briton Ferry
2000: Beaumaris B, Crosskeys
1999: Harlech, Blaenavon Town
1998: Llanrug, Cross Keys
1997: Glyneath, Royal Oakeley
1996: Royal Oakeley, Newbridge Celynen
1995: Royal Oakeley, Llanelli Town   

Welsh bands at the Finals: 

2008: 8th, 14th
2007: 15th, 17th
2006: 3rd, 19th
2005: 10th, 11th
2004: 4th, 18th
2003: 6th, 8th
2002: 5th, 7th
2001: 4th, 18th
2000: 1st, 18th
1999: 3rd, 10th
1998: 14th, 16th    

4BR Prediction: 

Another small field, but another well matched set of bands who could provide great entertainment and a keenly fought contest.

Of the seven, we think it could well be a battle between Corus (Port Talbot), Upper Rhondda and Ebbw Vale for the qualification places, with Pontypool, Newport, Ystradgynlais and Crwbin not too far behind.

1. Corus (Port Talbot)
2. Upper Rhondda
3. Ebbw Vale
4. Pontypool
5. Newport
6. Ystradgynlais

Dark Horses: Crwbin


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