Let battle to avoid the drop commence!

2 Sep 2014

Without doubt, the Grand Shield is one of the most difficult contests to win and perhaps also the least-favourite of all contests for the top bands.  In recent years, several top bands have suffered the 'indignity' of a spell in the Shield, e.g. Leyland and Tredegar both won at the 5th attempt, Reg Vardy were successful on their 4th trip (before succumbing to relegation again last year after a brief 2-year spell) , and Whitburn and Flowers are the latest high-ranking bands to experience the perennial delights of Blackpool!  Whitburn is the highest-ranked band NOT in the Open line-up as they face yet another Blackpool trip next year, their 5th in a row, but at least Flowers escaped to 'join the Birmingham party' this year (at the 6th time of asking, and 12th time in 13 years!!).

This year's and last year's placings will be added together and the two bands with the highest aggregates are likely to receive an invitation to next year's Grand Shield!  Here is the bottom end of the table, showing placings from last year, to which this year's placing will be added.

Based on their respective current rankings, the bands in biggest trouble are Virtuosi GUS and Hepworth, with Leyland and Milnrow surviving, on paper at least, by the slimmest of margins. All four of these bands will be looking to put in a good performance and receive a favourable verdict from the adjudication panel!

10  Grimethorpe Colliery
11  Desford Colliery
12  Hepworth
13  Milnrow
14  Virtuosi GUS
15  Leyland

Recent history suggests that a combined placings tally of less than 30 will be needed to survive - perhaps no more than about 27 or 28 - but it's not an exact science as demonstrated below (relegated bands each year shown in red).

20  Carlton Main Frickley Colliery, Desford Colliery
21  Leyland
22  Virtuosi GUS
23  Hepworth

30  Beaumaris
32  Reg Vardy

26  Hepworth
29  Reg Vardy
29  Rothwell Temperance
30  Kirkintilloch

21  Virtuosi (GUS)
22  Leyland
25  Co-operative Funeralcare
30  Hepworth (Cookson Homes)
31  Tongwynlais Temperance

23  Carlton Main Frickley Colliery
25  Hepworth (Cookson Homes)
26  Virtuosi (GUS)
26  Kirkintilloch
32  Whitburn

26  Fairey
26  Whitburn
28  Hammonds Saltaire
30  BTM

22  Fairey
23  Kirkintilloch
25  Scottish Co-op
26  YBS
26  Rothwell Temperance
29  Flowers
plus Sellers International (defunct)

23  Brighouse & Rastrick
23  Rothwell Temperance
25  Kirkintilloch
30  Reg Vardy
31  Aveley & Newham

26  Reg Vardy
29  Sellers International
35  Ashton-under-Lyne
36  Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel

21  Grimethorpe Colliery (UK Coal)
22  Desford Colliery
23  Whitburn
35  Tredegar

26  Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel
27  Grimethorpe Colliery (UK Coal)
27  Tredegar
31  Cwmaman Institute
34  Carlton Main Frickley Colliery

21  Cwmaman Institute
23  Kirkintilloch
23  Ever Ready
25  Besses o' th' Barn
25  Leyland
32  Travelsphere Holidays

27  Travelsphere Holidays
27  Ever Ready
28  Kirkintilloch
31  CWS (Glasgow)
36  Carlton Main Frickley Colliery
38  Glossop Old
plus Todmorden Old (defunct)