SOUTHAMPTON sent a team to Birmingham for the national six stage road relay in Sutton Park, finishing 23rd.

Mike Toomey ran a well-judged first leg to bring Southampton home in 42nd place, which Rod Finch, back from honeymoon in Rome, improved to 17th.

In leg three Simon Plummer ran a strong race but he was overtaken by two athletes.

Southampton were 26th once Stuart Poore, suffering from a heavy cold, had finished.

Paul Ashley again proved he is not only a fine track runner but also a good road runner to see the club remain 26th.

They finished 23rd thanks to a fine run from Mark Cooper, who has just joined the veteran ranks.

Southern champions Belgrave were the overall winners with Aldershot's Chris Thompson recording 16.53 - the fastest time of the day. Andy Morgan-Lee, a second claim Southampton member, ran 17.47 for first claim club Salford.

Times: Rod Finch 17.50; Simon Plummer 18.31; Mike Toomey 18.44; Paul Ashley 19.06; Mark Cooper 19.10; Stuart Poore 19.18.