Not much discussion about this years contest so far but I will start and put my thoughts up first, feel free to add your predictions. And can I say good luck to all bands who will take the stage at Perth in March Championship Section 1. Co-op 2. Whitburn 3. Clackmannan The two top bands will be hard to separate this year with Whitburn on good form at the end of the year and the Co will want to make amends for the Scottish open, so the first two places could go either way but I don't see any other band in any of these positions. Clackmannan have been very consistent and with a new MD for the Scottish I think they could make the podium this year. You can never discount Kirkintilloch and Kirkie Kelvin will also fancy their chances this year. So once again a lot of intrigue in this section First Section 1. Bo'ness 2. Kinniel 3. Tullis Any band that wants to win the first section I feel will need to beat Bo'ness, they showed a lot of class winning the Fife Contest in Sept, but feel they will be pushed all the way by local rivals Kinniel and both bands will want a return to the top section. Tullis were on excellent form all last year and I wouldn't discount the idea that they can get their name on a piece of Silver at the contest. Johnston and Bathgate will be pushing all the way and both with relatively new MD's. Second Section 1. Arbroath 2. Shotts 3. St Ronans This will be a tough contest for second section bands as the test piece is very hard but for me Arbroath showed good form all last year and Shotts finished the year strong and they will have a new MD (not ben named yet as far as I know)so I expect them to be up there. St Ronans are a steady band and will fancy their chances against the others in this section. Perthshire Jed and Tullis Intermediate shouldn't be to far behind. Are Kingdom B going ? hearing various rumours but they have not been seen since last May so this could be a tough ask for them. Dunaskin had a great performance at the Nationals and they will want to put a marker down in this section after bouncing straight back up. Third Section 1. Renfrew 2. Barrhead 3. Selkirk Renfrew just got better and better towards the end of the year and Mark Good has them in good shape and I expect them to win this section. Barrhead were just pipped last year by Tullis Intermediate and Dunskin and I expect them on the podium one better than last year. Selkirk have been constant and I fancy them for third this year. Irvine and Langholm won't be far away either. Fourth Section 1. Whitburn Heartlands 2. Buckhaven 3. Highland Brass This years contest will be a great event with 14 bands entered and if they all get on stage on the day it will be an excellent contest. For me Whitburn Heartlands and Buckhaven will be too strong for the rest of the field. Whitburn with their blend of youth and experience will be difficult to beat, and Buckhaven I think will join them at Cheltenham later in the year (you don't take your band away to a highland retreat, bring in tricky Dickie for the weekend if you are not serious about winning this contest) Mark Bell is doing a great job with Highland Brass and I would expect them to be in at third. Bon Accord B and Penicuik will be in the mix as well.