2009 Welsh Regional Championship - Championship Section: Runners & Riders


Can Tredegar hold onto its title or will normal Cory contesting service be resumed on Sunday?

BrangSunday 15th March
Adjudicator: David Read

Test Piece: Salute to Youth – Gilbert Vinter

Draw: 12.00pm
Commences: After 4th Section

Gwyn Evans
4BR Ranking: 54

Last 13 Years:
2008: 2nd in First Section (G. Evans) (prom)
2007: 2nd in Second Section (G. Evans) (prom)
2006: Winners of Third Section (P. Hughes) (prom)
2005: DNC
2004: 3rd (P. Hughes)
2003: 6th (P. Hughes)
2002: DNC
2001: Winners of Third Section
2000: Winners of Fourth Section
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Since the Beaumaris Band took the decision to join the forces of both their senior and ‘B’ bands together, they have become accustomed to ever growing success.

Now they make their top section debut, and after winning the National First Section title in such thrilling style in Harrogate last year, they should fancy their chances of doing well. Winners of the North Wales contest late last year too, they come full to the brim with confidence – and it isn’t misplaced either.  

Jason Katsikaris
4BR Ranking:  20

Last 13 Years:

2008: 2nd (G. O’Connor)
2007: 3rd (J. Katsikaris)
2006: 6th (J. Katsikaris)
2005: 2nd (B. Hurdley)
2004: 5th (D. Stowell)
2003: 4th (D. Stowell)
2002: 6th (D. Stowell)
2001: 7th (G. Pritchard)
2000: 4th (G. Pritchard)
1999: DNC
1998: 2nd
1997: 4th
1996: 3rd

Another band that should be overflowing with confidence, BTM are hitting top form just at the right time it seems.

Winners at Treorchy late last year, 3rd place at Yeovil, then an excellent victory at the recent Welsh Open, with the return of former MD Jason Katsikaris to the helm, they can be confident of not only a return trip to the Royal Albert Hall, but perhaps of being in sight of their first regional victory since 1993.   

bURRYBurry Port Town
Craig Roberts
4BR Ranking: 38 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 4th (P. Bailey)
2007: 4th (M. Thorne)
2006: 2nd (M. Thorne)
2005: 7th (M. Thorne)
2004: 8th (D. Evans)
2003: 3rd (D. Evans)
2002: 5th (P. Bailey)
2001: 8th (M. Thorne)
2000: 7th (M. Thorne)
1999: Winners of First Section (prom)
1998: 3rd
1997: 2nd
1996: Winners of Second Section (prom)

Burry Port has an excellent record at Swansea to maintain, and despite being in the rebuilding process in the last couple of years they have continued to post impressive results.

They have also notched up some solid results of late too, coming runner up at Treorchy late last season and starting the year off with 8th place at Yeovil and 4th at theWelsh Open. They could well fancy their chances of just nudging back to London for the first time since 2006.   

Dr. Robert Childs
4BR Ranking:

Last 13 Years:
2008: 3rd (R. Childs)
2007: Winners (R. Childs)
2006: Winners (R. Childs)
2005: Winners (R. Childs)
2004: Winners (R. Childs)
2003: Winners (R. Childs)
2002: Winners (R. Childs)
2001: 4th (R. Childs)
2000: Winners (J. Wise)
1999: 3rd
1998: Winners
1997: 2nd
1996: 5th

No band will come more determined to win than Cory. Last year they tried to do something that wasn’t required and as a result came 3rd, so no rumblings we suspect in the bass end this time out.

That said, the result perhaps set in train the form that saw them end up as European and Brass in Concert Champions, so it didn’t turn out too bad did it now? On form, the band to beat – and somehow you suspect that will be the case this year once again. 

cwmCwmaman Institute Tower Colliery
Graham O’Connor
4BR Ranking: 70 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 8th (G. Shepherd)
2007: 5th (I. Porthouse)
2006: 8th (J. Hudson)
2005: 3rd (J. Hudson)
2004: 3rd (J. Hudson)
2003: 7th (J. Hudson)
2002: 4th (J. Hudson)
2001: 5th (J. Hudson)
2000: 6th (J. Hudson)
1999: 5th
1998: 4th
1997: 5th
1996: 7th

The good news is that after a couple of years of struggle, Cwmaman is returning back to former tip top health.

8th place last year will mean they will have to be careful not to be drawn into a relegation fight, but 16th place at Pontins was turned into a decent 6th place at the Welsh Open recently – not great results on paper, but the playing evidence showed that they are getting back to being contenders once again. 

NewbridgeNewbridge Celynen
Paul Holland
4BR Ranking: 77

Last 13 Years:
2008: Winners of First Section (P. Holland) (prom)
2007: Winners of Second Section (P. Holland) (prom)
2006: Winners of Second Section (P. Holland)
2005: 2nd in Third Section (P. Holland) (prom)
2004: 4th (P. Holland)
2003: Winners of Third Section (P. Holland)
2002: 8th (K. Gibbs)
2001: 3rd in Fourth Section (K. Gibbs) (prom)
2000: 3rd (D. Short)
1999: 8th
1998: 12th in Third Section (rel)
1997: 14th
1996: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)

The rise and rise of Newbridge hasn’t got much further to go in Wales – all that is left is a qualification place for London it seems.

Now though is the time they really test their mettle against the big boys, and the Welsh League Champions will have to up their form considerably from the 4th place at Treorchy late last year if they are to book another finals appearance. You never know though…  

NorthopNorthop Silver
Thomas Wyss
4BR Ranking: 59

Last 13 Years:
2008: 5th (T. Wyss)
2007: Winners of First Section (T. Wyss) (prom)
2006: Winners (T. Wyss)
2005: 6th (B. Baker)
2004: 9th in Championship Section (B. Baker) (rel)
2003: 9th (C. Roberts)
2002: 7th (C. Roberts)
2001: 3rd (I. Porthouse)
2000: 8th (I. Porthouse)
1999: 4th
1998: DNC
1997: 6th
1996: 2nd

A bit of a dark horse perhaps? Northop has been rebuilding quietly and very solidly under the expert musical direction of Thomas Wyss over the last couple of years, and it is now starting to pay off.

5th place last year was a deserved result, whilst coming runner up at the North Wales contest and 6th place at Pontins last last season showed that they are continuing to progress in the right direction. That could mean they have a strong challenge in store on the weekend.  

Tony Small
4BR Ranking: 165 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 5th in First Section (T. Small) (prom)
2007: 4th (T. Small)
2006: 2nd (T. Small)
2005: 8th (T. Small)
2004: 3rd (T. Small)
2003: 2nd in Second Section (T. Small) (prom)
2002: Winners of Second Section (N. Seaman)
2001: 8th in First Section (T. Small) (rel)
2000: 6th (T. Small)
1999: 6th
1998: 7th
1997: 8th in Championship Section (rel)
1996: 8th

A return to the top section of Welsh banding for the first time in over a decade for Penclawdd, who won this title for the only time in their history in 1986.

They have had the odd up and down since, but Tony Small has been delivering musical miracles in what is really an outpost of banding in the Principality.  How they will deal with the huge step in class we will wait and see, but they did come runner up at the Treorchy Contest late last year. 

Ian Porthouse
4BR Ranking: 13

Last 13 Years:
2008: Winners (I. Porthouse)
2007: 2nd (M. Fowles)
2006: 4th (M. Fowles)
2005: 4th (D. Evans)
2004: 2nd (R. Gray)
2003: 2nd (T. Wyss)
2002: 3rd (S. Bastable)
2001: Winners (S. Bastable)
2000: 2nd (S. Bastable)
1999: 2nd
1998: 6th
1997: 3rd
1996: Winners
The reigning champions have yet to hit top form in 2009, coming runner up at both Yeovil and the Welsh Open.

Another bridesmaid position will of course secure a trip back to London, where they came a disappointing 15th last year, but their eyes are focused on more than that, with the European in Oostend and hopes of getting back to the British Open on their 2009 wish list. Time to start winning again then… 

WrexhamWrexham Brass
Wayne Ruston
4BR Ranking: 119

Last 13 Years:
2008: 9th (W. Ruston)
2007: 6th (W. Ruston)
2006: 3rd in First Section (W. Ruston) (prom)
2005: 2nd (W. Ruston)
2004: 2nd (W. Ruston)
2003: 6th (W. Ruston)
2002: 9th in Championship Section (W. Ruston) (rel)
2001: DNC
2000: Winners of First Section (as Rhos Silver) (I. Davey) (prom)
1999: 2nd (as Rhos) in First Section
1998: 2nd (as Rhos) in First Section
1997: Winners of Second Section (as Rhos) (prom)
1996: 2nd in Second Section (as Rhos)
Wrexham failed to make a real impression last year and ended up in 9th place.

A good showing is needed then to avoid any potential relegation problems and Wayne Ruston has been solidly building the band into a competitive outfit. 14th place at Pontins didn’t set the world of fire late last year, but they have shown they can mix it here in the the past.   

Past Qualifiers: 

2008: Tredegar, BTM, Cory*
2007: Buy As You View*, Tredegar, BTM
2006: Buy As You View*, Burry Port, Parc & Dare
2005: Buy As You View*, BTM, Cwmaman
2004: Buy As You View*, Tredegar*, Cwmaman, Beaumaris
2003: Buy As You View Cory*, Tredegar, Burry Port Town
2002: Buy As You View Cory, Seindorf Beaumaris
2001: Tredegar, Point of Ayr, BAYV Cory*
2000: Buy As You View Cory, Tredegar*, Point of Ayr**
1999: Point of Ayr, Tredegar
1998: Cory, BTM
1997: Point of Ayr, Cory
1996: Tredegar, Northop
1995: Tredegar, Northop
1994: Cory, BTM, Tredegar*
1993: BTM, Tredegar
1992: Tredegar, Cory
1991: BTM, Parc and Dare***, Mid Rhondda
1990: Tredegar, BTM
1989: Parc and Dare, BTM
*Pre Qualified
** Point of Ayr did not take their place at the Finals
*** Parc and Dare were later disqualified and their place taken by Mid Rhondda 

How Welsh Bands did at the Finals: 

2008: 3rd, 15th, 18th
2007: 3rd, 7th, 8th
2006: 4th, 19th, 20th
2005: 3rd, 15th, 16th
2004: 4th, 5th, 11th, 18th 
2003: 2nd, 3rd, 18th
2002: 2nd, 17th
2001: 5th, 7th, 15th
2000: 1st, 5th
1999: 3rd, 18th
1998: 6th, 19th
1997: 6th, 8th,
1996: 11th, 16th
1995: 9th, 18th
1994: 5th, 12th, 14th
1993: 2nd, 10th
1992: 8th, 9th
1991: 5th, 22nd
1990: 12th, 17th
1989: 16th, 21st  

4BR Prediction: 

Even with Parc & Dare failing to make it to the starting line, it still promises to be a cracking contest on Sunday.

Cory will surely not want to end up going home to the Rhondda without the domestic silverware once more, and they should be able to more than show their class on this piece to take the title.

BTM are full of confidence and could push them close, whilst Tredegar on top form, are also more than capable of retaining their title.  Hard to see anyone else getting in on the act this year, although Northop, Burry Port, Beaumaris and dark horse Newbridge could well have a thing or two to say about that.
1. Cory*
2. BTM
3. Tredegar
4. Northop
5. Beaumaris
6. Burry Port

Dark Horse:  Newbridge Celynen

* Pre Qualified


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