Let battle to avoid the drop commence!

2 Sep 2013

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, and Whitburn and Flowers are the latest high-ranking bands to experience the perennial delights of Blackpool!

One band seems to quite like the fare that is on offer in Blackpool, namely Kirkintilloch!  For the 2nd time in 3 years, Kirkie secured promotion to the Open earlier this year, having just been relegated.

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.  Reg Vardy escaped relegation last year by the slimmest of margins (by virtue of their position last year being one place higher than Rothwell) but they are back in the firing line again this year and will almost certainly need a 'top-half' placing to avoid the drop.

How quickly the tide has turned for Tredegar.  British Open champions as recently as 2010 but now needing a solid result to avoid another Grand Shield appearance.

10  Fairey
11  Hepworth
12  Carlton Main Frickley Colliery
13  Beaumaris
15  Tredegar
16  Reg Vardy

Recent history suggests that a combined placings tally of no more than about 25 or 26 will be needed to survive but it's not an exact science as demonstrated below (relegated bands each year shown in red).

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)