RELEGATED Bournemouth might have received a second-half battering from Ampthill & District – but only after they had given the promotion chasers a mighty scare.

Lions shipped nine tries during their 61-23 reverse at Chapel Gate yesterday but the visitors didn’t have it all their own way as converted tries from Tommy Booth and Scott Chislett in the opening 15 minutes threatened to upset the apple cart.

The second-placed Bedfordshire outfit knew victory would put them in pole position for the solitary play-off spot in National Two South and responded with three efforts of their own to take a six-point lead into half-time.

Jack Metters’s second successful penalty of the game reduced the arrears just after the restart but any hopes of an unlikely victory were soon quashed as Elliot Clements-Hill completed a hat-trick of tries on an afternoon where he racked up 31 points.

One bright note for Lions was the first XI debut of youngster Ben Meaden, who replaced Wyn Roberts 12 minutes into the second half.

Lions: Lynch, Roberts (Meaden, 52), Sutherland, Chislett, Stewart, Metters, Hardcastle, Spikings (Khamoian, 12, Hennings, h-t), Manning, Firetto, Rees, Fuller (Scott, 57), Hart, Vaughan-Edwards, Booth (Fulljames, 66).