After an astonishing sequence of 16 unbeaten matches in just over three years, Southampton AC finally succumbed to stronger opposition in the Southern Athletic League.

The second match of the season was held at the Radley AC track in Abingdon – a sports centre that provides the sort of excellent facilities Southampton aspire to with their “Back The Track” campaign. Basingstoke took advantage of ideal conditions to score an exciting victory over Southampton, Radley and Norwich, which was in the balance throughout.

John Coyle, recording his fastest-ever 100m time of 10.7sec, only managed to finish third in a high quality race. Amy Teal registered a pb 25.8 in the 200m.

Laura Brenton dominated the middle distance events, running a new lifetime best of 2.15.1min in the 800m.

Erik Little’s ‘jump squad’ were out in force, with some outstanding performances in the high, long and triple jumps. Debutants Owen Lawrence, JJ Cookes and Adam Jones all slotted in with the regulars Matt Watson, Chris Bull and Nick Hunt.

U17’s Hollie Garrathy (PB in TJ), Katya Oldfield and Holly Pearce were also making their first appearances at senior level, heralding a bright future for Southampton.

In the 400m, Ronnie Young is storming back to form after a year out with injury. He clocked just over 49 seconds in the individual event, whilst Calum Bressington ran a PB in the same race.

Young, Bressington, Calum Rowe and Nick Hunt combined to win a thrilling 4x400m at the day’s end.

Southamton’s next SAL match is at home on June 21, where they hope a strong performance will put them top of the league again.