SOUTHAMPTON AC's masters team successfully defended their Southern Counties title at the Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford, Kent.

It was their third win in seven years.

Up against strong opposition from Wimbledon, Heathside, Oxford, Herne Hill, Dartford and Tonbridge, with 19 events and three-age groups, Southampton's success came from their ability to fill every event with willing athletes, often having to find replacements at short notice.

Personal bests from Andrew Sheerin in the discus and hammer, Steve Bodson in the shot and Wayne Vincent in the 2k walk set the tone for the day.

Big wins from sprinter Mark Collins (100/200/400m), Dave Blackman (1500m), Andy Turner (hammer), Brian Thompson (high jump) and Derek Warn (pole vault) helped pile on the points.

Team manager Andy Morgan-Lee was delighted with the result, saying: "This was a wonderful team performance, it's easy managing them. When you ask them to do an event they just say 'yes'."

The team are looking forward to a well-earned break before starting winter training.

They are hoping for another good year in 2018 when many of the squad will be travelling to the World Masters Championships in Malaga.