FIBBERS was rocked in more ways than one at the second semi-final of the Evening Press sponsored 2002 Battle of the Bands.

The first was in the traditional sense.

Three tight bands played sets that did the business, just when they needed to.

But the second was the result. Dark horses Jacob, who had sneaked into the semi-finals, snatched victory by the tightest of margins.

The whole thing came down to the secret panel vote, with Jacob seeing off hot favourites Sevenball by only two votes.

High-energy punks Duck Sick weren't far behind.

It was the youthful punks that kicked things off. They describe themselves as "silly circus punks," which isn't a bad way of putting it.

The music is nothing new, but the band do it well, their following faithfully moshing madly down the front throughout.

The highlight of their set was Judgement Day, a tune that showed their skill and knowledge through its mix of punk and ska.

And so to Sevenball. As always, they played a set of real power. Singer Luke Ritchie bouncing his incredible voice off all four Fibbers walls and wrapping the sound around Andrew Dunn's guitar.

The passion put into the set by the four-piece is etched all over their faces, topped by their magnificent coda Sophie.

It appeared to be in the bag. But then in stole Jacob. It was almost as though the Halifax five-piece thought Sevenball had won it, prompting them to play a set of pure soaring pop, free of any pressure and soaked in positivity.

Two songs stood out - Hollow and Learning To Swim - the latter real tuneful pop song with just the right amount of jangle in the guitars and 100 per cent devotion from big-voiced frontman Beaky.

After the result, Sevenball's Luke was philosophical in defeat.

"I had a bad feeling. I didn't like being high in the odds, it set us up for a bit of a fall."

The last word, deservedly, went to a stunned Beaky.

He said: "We didn't expect it. Obviously we are really pleased. It's amazing."

Perhaps. But they're there on merit.

This Battle Of The Bands is turning out to be almost as intriguing as the World Cup.