BASINGSTOKE and Mid Hants will be hoping to secure promotion to the second tier of the British Athletics League with a strong performance in their last match of the season at Bath on Saturday.
The Down Grange club’s men’s team go into the fourth and final National Two meeting sitting second in the table, with 18 points from the opening three matches.
Southampton are five points clear at the top and look almost certain to win the title, but with two teams promoted, Basingstoke are still very much in with a chance of going up.
They won the opening match of the season on home soil, before finishing second in the second meeting at Southampton. However, a sixth-place finish at the last meeting, in Derby, means they go into the final day of the season just one point ahead of third-placed Kingston AC and Polytechnic Harriers.
It was initially thought that the sides were level, but a rescoring of the pole vault from the Derby meeting saw Kingston lose a point, giving Basingstoke some breathing space.
They will be promoted if they manage to beat Kingston and finish no worse than fifth, while finishing one place below the south London club would also probably be enough for Basingstoke to finish above them on match points gained.
Team manager, Ian Byett, said: “It is a big match for us and we are up for it. I’m reasonably confident going in.
“We will not be at full strength, but we should be a lot stronger than we were for the last meeting. Hopefully, that will be enough.”
Basingstoke will travel to Bath without sprint hurdler Andy Blow, but their other key athletes, including multi-eventers Ben Hazell and Sam Sleap, are available.