Nene Valley Harriers team manager Tim Needham was far from despondent after a tough British League Division Two baptism at the weekend.
Newly-promoted Harriers made their bow at the lofty level at Crawley on Saturday and finished seventh out of eight clubs with just one win to their name.
But Needham refused to get downhearted.
He said: “There’s no doubt about it - this division is of a very high standard this year and obviously a standard we’re not used to.
“But considering what we were up against I thought we did very well. Thames Valley Harriers and Gateshead have been in the Premiership in recent years and all the other clubs have been members of the higher divisions for a long time.
“We also had several athletes missing through injury and unavailability, especally in the middle distance events, and at this level you can’t just fill in the gaps and expect to score. And while it will still be tough with a full team, I think we will be in the mix in the middle of the table come the end of the season.
“And what a great level of competition it is for our youngsters. It’s a great experience and will surely bring out the best in them.”
And that was certainly the case on Saturday as Kane Wright (100m), Daz Holding (200m), Ashley Sandall (400m), Ollie Dilloway (400m), Ben Jones (400m hurdles), Anthony Johnson (3,000m) and Martin Tinkler (shot) all achieved personal bests.
Sam Richards turned in the top performance of the day, beating a number of seven-metre plus jumpers to win the A string long jump with 6.98m.
Matt Hudson gained second place in the B string with 6.30m and was one of a number of Under 20s in the team to show some courage at this level .
Pick of the track performances came from the 4x400m relay team of Dave Brown, Ollie Bowling, Ashley Sandall and Holding. They were second with anchorman Holding just failing to hold off British international runner Luke Lennon-Ford on the line.
Nene Valley Harriers results:
100m - A 6 Kane Wright 10.80 (PB), B 4 Darellon Holding 11.29.
200m - A 5 Darrellon Holding 22.04 (PB), B 7 David Brown 23.14.
400m - A 4 Ashley Sandall 48.87 (PB), B 4 Oliver Dilloway 50.84 (PB).
800m - A 7 Sean Reidy 2.10.61, B 4 Max Butler 2.00.36.
1500m - A 6 Lloyd Kempson 4.07.63, B 6 Max Butler 4.37.80.
3000m - A 6 Lloyd Kempson 9.14.15, B 6 Anthony Johnson 9.15.45 (PB).
110m hurdles - A 3 Max Everest 15.48, B 3 Sean reidy 16.22.
400m hurdles - A 5 Sean Reidy 56.37, B 2 Ben Jones 53.62 (PB).
4x100m - 5th 43.82.
4x400m - 2nd 3.21.22.
High Jump - A 3 Laurie Pirie 1.90, B 6 Ben Jones 1.60.
Pole Vault - A 7 Karl Titman 3.80, B 6 Adam Fidgett 2.60.
Long Jump - A 1 Sam Richards 6.98, B 2 Matthew Hudson 6.30.
Triple Jump - A 6 Sam Richards 12.13, B 6 Laurie Pirie 11.42.
Shot - A 4 Martin Tinkler 14.38 (PB), B 6 Simon Achurch 11.45.
Discus - A 4 Martin Tinkler 41.69, B 5 Simon Achurch 32.35.
Hammer - A 5 Simon Achurch 41.24, B 6 Isaac Huskisson 31.38.
Javelin - A 6 David Bush 40.68, B 5 Sam Lawrence 38.74.
PB = personal best
1 Harrow 321pts
2 Thames Valley 310pts
3 Crawley 294pts
4 Kingston & Poly 291pts
5 Bristol & West 281.5pts
6 Notts AC 266pts
7 Nene Valley Harriers 232.5pts
8 Gateshead 157pts
June 6, Watford.
July 7, Derby.
August 8, Kingston.