BASINGSTOKE and Mid Hants made the perfect start to the British Athletics League season on Saturday, winning their home fixture at a wet Down Grange.

The club, who were relegated to National Two at the end of last season, won the opening fixture of the 2014 campaign, amassing 345 points to finish 13 clear of second-placed Southampton.

Team manager Ian Byett said: “It was very satisfactory. Conditions were not conducive to good athletics but we got ourselves into the lead early on and hung in there all of the way through.”

Show stealer Sprinter Dean Showler-Davis stole the show, winning the 100m and 200m double, with his younger brother, Kieran, claiming victory in both B string races as well.

Sam Sleap was the other Basingstoke athlete to claim an A-string victory, coming out on top in the pole vault, while the 4x400m squad also secured first place.

Ben Hazell made it a club double by winning the B pole vault, while Adam Akehurst claimed a B-string double, winning both the long jump and javelin. Tony Higbee put in a good performance to win the B 110m hurdles.

Matthew Lavopierre finished second in the 400m hurdles, a result matched by Alex Teuten in the 3,000m steeplechase, Sam Adams in the long jump, Hazell in the javelin and the 4x100m team.

Andy Blow maintained his fine record in BAL meetings by finishing third in the 110m hurdles in his first race of the season.

Byett is hopeful that his team can build on their good start to the season and challenge for promotion straight back to National One.

“The aim before Saturday was to make sure we remain in this division, but if we are in the mix for promotion we will go for it, trying to get the strongest team possible out,” he said. “We did not win by a massive margin, so we need people like Dean and Kieran Showler-Davis to stay fit, but hopefully we can do well.

“There is much more to come on the middle distance side because we were nowhere near full strength in that area, so we will have to wait and see where that takes us.

“It’s a good set of fixtures for us as well. The furthest we have to go is Derby and the next match is just down the road in Southampton as well.”