2009 North of England Regional Championship - First Section - Runners & Riders


A closely matched group of bands will be trying to make musical sense of the fives of Pentacle to gain two qualifcation spots for Harrogate.

Sunday 21st March
Adjudicator: David Read
Test Piece: Pentacle – Graham Cole

Draw: 11.00am
Commences: 12.30pm

bARTONBarton Town
Conductor: Richard Evans

Last 13 Years:
2008: Winners of Second Section (R. Evans) (prom)
2007: Winners of Third Section (M. Bentham) (prom)
2006: Winners in Fourth Section (M. Bentham) (prom)

Richard Evans returns with Barton, and they will surely be confident of adding yet more Darlington silverware to their recent collection.

Unbeaten in the last three years, and with a trio of promotions to boot, last year they were fine value for their victory, which led to them putting in an excellent performance at Harrogate to come 3rd. 10th at Butlins in their section of the split draw would have given them food for thought though recently.   

Broughton's Brass
Barry Holden 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 6th (D. Hirst)
2007: 5th (A. Exley)
2006: 8th (B. Grant)
2005: 8th in Championship Section (B. Grant) (rel)
2004: 9th (J. Bell)
2003: 7th (K. Bolton)
2002: 4th (B. Grant)
2001: 2nd in First Section (C. Bentham) (prom)
2000: 3rd (B. Holden)
1999: 5th
1998: 6th
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Although not confirmed who is taking Broughton’s this year we understand it is Barry Holden.

Whoever it is they have some decent form to call upon if they are to push up from last year’s 6th place and aim for a qualification spot, after coming 3rd in the A Section at the Durham contest late last year.  

GTGT Group Peterlee
Steve Malcolm 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 3rd (S. Malcolm)
2007: 6th (B. Holden)
2006: 4th (B. Holden)
2005: 2nd in Second Section (B. Holden) (prom)
2004: 4th (B. Holden)
2003: 5th (B. Holden)
2002: 8th (B. Holden)
2001: DNC
2000: 2nd (T. Maddison)
1999: 2nd
1998: 7th
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Steve Malcolm has done a cracking job at Peterlee in the past couple of years and they will be confident of taking one of the two qualification places on offer if they can just up their form from the 3rd spot of twelve months ago.

Since then they have come a well earned 2nd at the Durham contest late last season and 6th at Butlins against a strong field just a few weeks ago. Ones to watch out for then.  

Roy Waite

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

No David Lancaster at the helm for Harrogate this year, after the long term partnership came to an end, so it will be interesting to see how new MD Roy Waite and his band get on.

Although the band never quite managed to make a solid foothold in the top section they were capable of producing decent hard working results. If they have regrouped then a strong challenge should be in prospect.  

MurtonMurton Colliery
Dennis Noble

Last 13 Years:
2008: 2nd in Second Section (D. Noble (prom)
2007: 3rd (D. Noble)
2006: 5th (D. Noble)
2005: 3rd in Third Section (D. Noble) (prom)
2004: 4th (D. Noble)
2003: 4th (J. Cook)
2002: 4th (P. Rosier)
2001: 8th (K. MacDonald)
2000: 8th (K. MacDonald)
1999: 4th
1998: 8th
1997: Winners of Fourth Section (prom)
1996: 3rd

A band making upwardly mobile progress, Murton Colliery took another step towards the Championship Section last year by gaining promotion on the back of 2nd place in the Second Section.

That led to them posting a hard earned 13th place at Harrogate, so they will know that they will have to up their game if they are to make a mark here. Given their recent record of achievement at Darlington, you wouldn’t bet against them doing just that.  

EllingtonNorthumbrian Water Ellington Colliery
Ray Farr

Last 13 Years:
2008: 7th (A. Fernie)
2007: 7th (A. Fernie)
2006: 5th (A. Fernie)
2005: 7th (T. Swainson)
2004: Winners of Second Section (D. Wright) (prom)
2003: 3rd in Third Section (D. Wright) (prom)
2002: 2nd (D. Wright)
2001: 5th (D. Wright)
2000: 6th (J. Higginson)
1999: N/K
1998: 7th
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Ray Farr is going to be a busy chap this weekend and he is doing a bit of a musical monopoly board of conducting utility engagements – railways and water.

The band know that they will have to up their game if they are not to be drawn into a relegation battle after coming 7th and bottom of the results table last time out, but a solid 12th place at Butlins against a strong field of national rivals earlier this season should give them heart.  

ShepherdShepherd Group Brass
Tim Oldroyd 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 5th (T. Oldroyd)
2007: 3rd (T. Oldroyd)
2006: DNC
2005: 7th (J. Hudson) (rel)
2004: 7th (C. Hirst)
2003: 5th (W. Rushworth)
2002: 8th (W. Rushworth)
2001: 4th in First Section (W. Rushworth) (prom)
2000: 4th (C. Hirst)
1999: 2nd
1998: Winners of Second Section (prom)
1997: N/K
1996: 4th
Tim Oldroyd has done some fine work with Shepherd Group of late, leading them to two solid performances in the past two seasons.

Last year’s 5th spot was a couple of places off their 2007 effort, but it was still a strong showing, so if they have been able to improve their form on that, they could well be in with a shout. 

WansbecksWansbeck's Ashington
Nigel Stedman 

Last 13 Years:
2008: 2nd (N. Stedman)
2007: Winners of Second Section (N. Stedman) (prom)
2006: 2nd (N. Stedman)
2005: 3rd (N. Stedman)
2004: 6th (N. Stedman)
2003: Winners of Third Section (N. Stedman) (prom)
2002: 5th (N. Stedman)
2001: 6th (C. Harris)
2000: DNC (rel)
1999: N/K
1998: 6th in Second Section
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

Another band making solid progress, Wansbeck’s made an immediate impact on their debut twelve months ago. 

That runners up spot saw them head for Harrogate, where although they could only manage 17th place, the experience would have been invaluable. Can they return to North Yorkshire for a fourth consecutive year then? The landlady of their regular Harrogate hotel will have kept a few beds available we are sure, just in case.  

Past Qualifiers: 

2008: Kirbymoorsdie Town, Wansbeck’s Ashington
2007: Felling, Lockwood Brass
2006: Felling, Easington Coliery
2005: Easington Colliery, Langbaurgh Brass
2004: Kirbymoorside, Barrow Shipyard
2003: BHK (UK) Ltd Horden, Barrow Shipyard
2002: Gateshead Brass, Harrogate
2001: Harrogate, Broughton's Brass
2000: Cottingham, Boldon
1999: Gregg's Bakery, Rowntree
1998: Cottingham, Boldon Colliery
1997: Skipton, Vickers Barrow
1996: East Yorkshire Brass, Skipton
1995: EYMS, Boldon Colliery   

North of England Bands at the Finals: 

2008: 3rd, 17th
2007: 7th, 10th
2006: 15th, 17th
2005: 11th, 14th
2004: 10th, 12th
2003: 1st, 6th
2002: 8th, 18th
2001: 15th, 16th
2000: 12th, 17th
1999: 7th, 16th
1998: 7th, 15th    

4BR Prediction: 

An increase of one band this year in the First Section, and although it is still a small field of contenders they do seem to be evenly matched. 

Of those a few come with decent form to their name, and we think it could well develop into a battle between the likes of GT Group Peterlee, Barton and Harrogate for the qualification places, with Wansbecks, Ellington and Shepherd Group making up the top six.

That leaves a pair of dark horses in Broughtons and Murton Colliery.

1. GT Group Peterlee
2. Barton Town
3. Harrogate
4. Wansbecks Ashington
5. NW Ellington Colliery
6. Shepherd Group

Dark Horses: Murton Colliery & Broughtons


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