Winning start for Belgrave

Belgrave, runners-up last year, decisively won a low-key opening match in the British Athletics League First Division at Barnet Copthall yesterday.

The south London club built on four field event victories to finish 37.5 points ahead of the defending champions, Thames Valley. One of them came from Fred Salle, whose leap of 7.62 metres took him clear of Newham's European junior long jump champion, Carl Howard. Belgrave were the least hit by the absence of senior men away preparing for the World Championship season.

Thames Valley, who feared an unrewarding afternoon, coped well, but Haringey's worries were confirmed. Their manager, Phil Green, had so many withdrawals that he was resigned to finishing last. Haringey were saved from the wooden spoon by Newham, but their hopes of regaining the title took a blow.

The man of the match award went to the Shaftesbury hammer thrower, Mike Jones, who threw 70.28m.