FOR the first time in a number of years, Basingstoke and Mid Hants can afford to relax a little on the final day of the British Athletics League season.

The Down Grange club go into the last meeting of the season at Liverpool on Saturday with little to play for, but having achieved plenty over the course of the summer.

Ahead of Saturday’s National One finale, Basingstoke, who were expected to struggle after being promoted at the end of last season, sit fifth in the table with 12 points, five above the dreaded relegation zone.

They will be assured of safety if they finish fifth or better.

However, even if they are unable to manage this, it would take a set of unlikely circumstances to see them end up in the bottom two.

Team manager Ian Byett said: “Mathematically, there is still a chance that we could get relegated, but it’s very unlikely, so hopefully we can all enjoy it a bit more than normal.

“We will still do the best we can though. It’s very close between us and Blackheath for fourth spot and we’d like to get that position.”

Basingstoke will be helped by the return of three sprinters, Dean Showler-Davis and the Richardson brothers, Myles and Owen.

Sprinter and 110m hurdler Andy Blow will also make the long trip north, as will multi-eventers Ben Hazell, Sam Sleap and John Dickenson, who have been described as “powerhouses” of the team by Byett.

However, Basingstoke and Mid Hants will be without sprinter Kieran Showler-Davis, as well as distance runners Dave Ragan and Tom Syckelmoore.