2009 Midlands Regional Championship - Third Section: Runners & Riders


A big old field of bands ready to find out if they are made of the right stuff to get to Harrogate via a bit of Merlin and Co

Saturday 14th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Adjudicators: Colin Hardy & Christopher Wormald
Test Piece: The Once and Future King - Andrew Baker

First Draw: 10.00am
Second Draw: 12.00 noon
Commences: 11.00am

Wesley Kendrick 

Last 12 Years:
2008: Winners of Fourth Section (W. Kendrick) (prom)
2007: 3rd (W. Kendrick)
2006: 2nd (W. Kendrick)
2005: DNC
2004: 16th

What a spectacular rise from nothig for Amington.

16th in 2004, then a break, then humgdinger performances for the last three years. Last year they won the Fourth Section by three clear points and then produced a cracking performance to come 3rd at Harrogate. They won’t be short of confidence after coming 5th in the Third Section and winning the Fourth at Leamington not so long ago. That takes some doing.     

AvonbankAvonbank Evesham
N. Smith

Last 12 Years:
2008: 8th (G. Smallwood)
2007: 7th (N. Smith)
2006: 5th (N. Smith)
2005: 16th (A. McCrae)
2004: 11th (A. McCrae)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 7th in Second Section (rel)
2000: 5th
1999: 14th
1998: 15th
1997: 6th

Avonbank is making good steady progress and since 2006 they have posted solid performances here to comfortably end up in the top 10.

3rd place at the Leamington Contest indicates that if they produce that form here they could well be an outside bet for a podium finish and possible trip to Harrogate.  

Bakewell Silver
M. Wilcockson 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 6th (M. Wilcockson)
2007: 6th (M. Wilcockson)
2006: 15th (M. Wilockson)
2005: 9th (M. Wilcockson)
2004: 14th (M. Wilcockson)
2003: 3rd in Fourth Section (M. Wilcockson) (prom)
2002: 6th
2001: 9th
2000: 15th in Third Section (rel)
1999: 12th
1998: 10th
1997: 17th

Great name and not bad results here in the last two years for Mr Wilcockson and his band.

Two consecutive top 6 places and 3rd at Derby a few weeks ago means they are a band to look out for as they seek to take a further step towards a possible promotion this year.   

BurbageBurbage (Buxton)
Steve Critchlow

Last 12 Years:
2008: 5th in Fourth Section (S. Critchlow) (prom)
2007: 9th (S. Critchlow)
2006: 6th (S. Critchlow)

Steve Critchlow and his band gained promotion from the Fourth Section for this year, after three steady seasons of contesting that brought two top six finishes.

It is a step up though, but given what they have achieved so far in such a short space of time, you would bet they will more than make a mark again.     

City of BirminghamCity of Birmingham
W. Belshaw

Last 12 Years:
2008: 12th (W. Belshaw)
2007: 9th (W. Belshaw)
2006: 4th (W. Belshaw)
2005: 12th (J. Cunningham)
2004: 9th (J. Cunningham)
2003: 10th (S. Platford)
2002: 8th
2001: 20th in Second Section (rel)
2000: 16th
1999: 19th
1998: 12th
1997: 9th

City of Birmingham have just started to fall off the pace at the contest in the last three years – from a great 4th place in 2006 to 12th last year.

They won’t want that to continue for certain, but they will know that they will have to up their current form which saw them come 8th at the Leamington Contest a few weeks ago. 

G. Smallwood 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 17th (P. Johnson)
2007: Winners of Fourth Section (P. Johnson) (prom)
2006: 7th (P. Johnson)
2005: 8th (P. Johnson)

Cubbington found life a little tough in their first season in the Third Section last year, coming 17th and last.

They will know that they will have to produce something a bit more competitive this time around if they are not to be drawn into a relegation fight, and they can take some encouragement from their 7th place at the Leamington Contest recently.   It may need more than that though to survive the drop. 

DaventryDaventry Brass
Nigel Howard

Last 12 Years:
2008: 9th in Second Section (N. Howard) (rel)
2007: 9th (N. Howard)
2006: 12th (N. Howard)
2005: 3rd in Third Section (P. Northey) (prom)
2004: 10th (P. Northey)
2003: Winners of Third Section (P. Northey)
2002: 13th
2001: 13th
2000: 4th
1999: 17th in Second Section (rel)
1998: 18th
1997: 12th

Daventry are another band that found life after promotion a bit tougher than expected and they return to the Third Section this year after coming 9th in the Second Section last time out.

Nigel Howard will be looking for the type of form that made the band challengers here in the past then. 

Hucknell & Linby
Paul Whyley 

Last 12 Years:

A debut this year for the band that has been created from the demise of the Newstead Abbey Band. The band is based in Hucknell in Nottinghamshire and it is hoped that this will be the start of something very exciting. We wish them well on their first outing then.  

Kirkby Colliery Welfare
S. Berrill

Last 12 Years:
2008: 7th (S. Berrill)
2007: 14th (S. Berrill)
2006: 10th (A. Dennis)
2005: 4th in Fourth Section (H. Thomas) (prom)
2004: 8th (S. Berrill)
2003: 5th (S. Berrill)
2002: 15th (S. Berrill)
2001: 22nd (S. Berrill)
2000: DNC

Last year’s encouraging 7th place was a real improvement for Kirkby as they could have found themselves in real relegation trouble if they had repeated the 14th place of 2007.

Now they will hope to keep that improvement going further and if they can build on the encouraging result in coming 10th at Butlins then they should be more than OK. 

Moulton 77 Brass
M. France

Last 12 Years:
2008: 16th (M. France)
2007: 15th (H. Gibbs)
2006: 3rd (H. Gibbs)
2005: 11th in Second Section (H. Gibbs) (rel)
2004: 16th (I. Rainer)
2003: 13th (I. Rainer)
2002: 12th (I. Rainer)
2001: 12th (D. Goswell)
2000: 10th (N/K)
1999: Winners of Second Section
1998: 9th
1997: 10th
Moulton will really have to pull the stops out on the weekend if they are not to fall through the relegation trap door to the Fourth Section.

After a fine 3rd place in 2006, the last two years have been disappointing to say the least and they will dsperately need a good result on the weekend if they are to compete at this level next year. We wish them well. 

PorthPorthywaen Silver
M. Parry

Last 12 Years:
2008: 10th in Second Section (S. Gittins) (rel)
2007: 12th (D. Thomas)
2006: 5th (D. Thomas)
2005: 5th (D. Thomas)
2004: 10th (D. Thomas)
2003: 11th (D. Thomas)
2002: 9th (D. Thomas)
2001: 8th (D. Thomas)
2000: 2nd in Third Section (N/K) (prom)
1999: 4th in Fourth Section (prom)
1998: 2nd
1997: Winners of Fourth Section

Porthywaen’s eight year stint in the Second Section came to an end last year when they came 10th and dropped through the relegation trap door and back here for the first time since 2000.

Now the hard work starts to make sure there is no further loss of contesting confidence, so a decent return on Saturday is a first priority.   

RushdenRushden Windmill
J. Fletcher
Last 12 Years:
2008: 9th (J. Flecther)
2007: 10th (R. Graves)
2006: 8th (R. Graves)
2005: 11th (R. Graves)
2004: Winners of Fourth Section (R. Graves) (prom)
2003: 4th (R. Graves)
2002: 19th in Third Section (rel)
2001: 12th
2000: 3rd
1999: 15th
1998: 3rd
1997: 6th

Since gaining promotion from the Fourth Section in 2005, Rushden has produced four solid peformances without quite setting the Third Section on fire – yet.

That may well change on Saturday if the band can repeat the form that saw them come 2nd at the Leamington Contest recently.      

Shirebrook MW Unison
M. Wilcockson

Last 12 Years:
2008: 4th (M. Wilcockson)
2007: 11th in Second Section (M. Wilcockson) (rel)
2006: 9th (M. Wilcockson)
2005: 12th (M. Wilcockson)
2004: 8th (M. Wilcockson)
2003: 17th (M. Wilcockson)
2002: 16th (M. Battersby)
2001: 17th in First Section (N/K) (rel)
2000: 18th (N/K)
1999: 6th in Second Section (prom)
1998: 5th
1997: 7th

Mr Wilcockson takes Shirebrook here for the sixth time, and after their relegation in 2007, the band bounced back in fine style to post a very competitive 4th place last time out.

Twelve months on and they come to the contest as one of the favourites, and after their fine Butlins win they will be full to the brim with confidence. It shouldn’t be misplaced either.    

stamfordStamford Brass
Robert Prew 

Last 12 Years:
2008: 11th (M. Ford)
2007: 8th in Second Section (J. Fletcher) (rel)
2006: 11th (D. Hirst)
2005: 10th (G. Wyatt)
2004: 2nd in Third Section (G. Wyatt) (prom)
2003: 7th (R. Prew)
2002: 14th in Second Section (rel)
2001: 17th
2000: 17th
1999: 15th in First Section (rel)
1998: 17th
1997: 5th in Second Section (prom)

Another band that should be relishing the opportunity to carry on their recent good form.

Stamford didn’t scare anyone last year when they came 11th here, but they produced a cracking performance at Butlins earlier this year to push Shirebrook all the way for the Miners title. More of that form and they could be having a battle to get to Harrogate with their rivals once again.    

Wem Jubilee
Roger Thorne

Last 12 Years:
2008: 5th (R. Thorne)
2007: Winners (R. Thorne)
2006: DNC
2005: 10th (R. Thorne)
2004: 8th (R. Thorne)
2003: 4th (R. Thorne)
2002: Winners of Fourth Section (prom)
2001: 5th
2000: 4th
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: 4th
Roger Thorne continues to lead a very competitive outfit at Wem Jubilee and although they couldn’t retain their title last year they still posted a solid 5th place in its defence.

More of that and they could well be pushing for both a place back at Harrogate and promotion to the Second Section.

Past Qualifiers: 

2008: Matlock, Wellington (Telford), University of Warwick
2007: Wem Jubilee, Wellington (Telford)
2006: Long Eaton Silver, Leicester Co-op Snibston Charnwood, Moulton '77 Brass
2005: Phoenix West Midlands, Arrow Valley, Daventry
2004: Shirland Welfare Training, Stamford Brass, West Mercia Constabulary
2003: Daventry Brass, Carlton Brass, Audley Brass
2002: Raunds Temperance, Carlton Brass, Arrow Valley
2001: Brass 2000, Raunds Temperance
2000: Warwick University, Porthywaen
1999: Whaley Bridge, Chapel en le Frith
1998: RJB Brass, Charnwood
1997: Kirkby Colliery, Chapel en le Frith
1996: Whaley Bridge, Derwent Brass, Kirkby Colliery
1995: Whaley Bridge, Croft Silver, Derwent Brass
1994: Glossop Old, Bedworth Brass, South Notts Hussars   


Midlands Bands at the Finals:

2008: 1st, 5th, 18th
2007: 12th, 17th
2006: 1st, 4th, 10th
2005: 2nd, 4th, 8th
2004: 5th, 8th, 9th
2003: 3rd, 11th, 18th
2002: 5th, 7th, 8th
2001: 3rd, 13th
2000: 8th, 9th
1999: 12th, 16th
1998: 11th, 12th 

4BR Prediction: 

A field of well matched bands on paper, but a group of them have shown good form of late and should fancy their chances more than most.

Of those we opt for the Butlins pair of Shirebrook and Stamford to be two of the strongest contenders, with Rushden Windmill, Wem Jubilee, Bakewell and Amington not too far behind. Our dark horse this time is Avonbank

1. Shirebrook MW
2. Stamford
3. Wem Jubilee
4. Rushden Windmill
5. Bakewell
6. Amington

Dark Horse: Avonbank (Evesham)


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