St Neots Rowing Club had cause for celebration on the River Thames recently.

Their men's eight recorded the club's best finish in the Head of the River Race for 37 years and it was the first time they had ever rowed together.

The St Neots crew - comprising Dom Chapman (club men's captain), Josh Dexter, Huw Jarman, Max Taylor, Edd Maryon, Tom Dolby, Tim Halliday and Adam Williams, and coxed by Tammy Finnigan - powered across the line in 19 mins, 14.55 secs.

That placed them 66th out of 334 entries and sixth in their intermediate two (IM2) category for clubs not based on the Thames – a much better outcome than anticipated as they had hoped to scrape into the top 100 overall.

The race is staged on the famous four-and-a-quarter-mile Boat Race course and St Neots found themselves up against top clubs from around the country as well as crews from Ireland Germany, Switzerland, China, Portugal, Italy and Poland.

Men's captain Dom Chapman said: “This was a chance to see where we ranked against our main rivals, as well as some of the top crews in the country. The result shows we're in the mix. The guys produced a great performance, which puts us in a good position going into the regatta season.”

The fine men's performance came only a few weeks after their women's eight impressed in their Head of the River Race on the Thames, finishing 173rd out of 320 crews and fifth in their intermediate category for small clubs.