TEAM Southampton finished seventh in their opening British Men's League Division 3 fixture at Rugby, but there were some bright spots.

This season the league have introduced a £100 prize for man-of-the-match and discus thrower Nick Iliffe came close to winning it with an excellent 47.88 heave, writes WENDY GEE.

He was just pipped to the post, however, by Kingston & Polytechnic's Toby Ulm, who clocked 53.4 for the 400m hurdles.

New Southampton signing James Groocock made his British League debut aged 17 and didn't let anybody down, finishing fifth in the A-string long jump with 6.48 metres.

The teenage son of Isle of Wight sprinter Nick Groocock has plenty of potential to improve once he is fully fit after a hamstring niggle.

During the winter, he jumped over seven metres indoors.

Scott Koronka, another British League debutant, came third in the B 400m in 50.8 seconds, while Ben Richardson and Darryn Campbell collected valuable points in the sprints.

Richardson won the 110m hurdles (15.2), was third in the 100m (11.1) and fourth in the 200m (22.6).

Campbell, meanwhile, moved down from his specialist 400m event to run the B sprints.

Another new signing, Sam Turner, joined his older brother Dan in the high jump.

Dan cleared 1.95 for second in the A string, while Sam was third in the B string with 1.85.

The men are next in action at Kingston on Saturday, June 3.

Match result: Gateshead 327, Derby & County 308, Notts 307.5, Kingston & Poly 304.5, Basingstoke & Mid Hants 294, Rugby & Northampton 228, Team Southampton 221, Medway & Maidstone 191.