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Rugby: Lions made to regret missed chances
LIONS chief David Dunn admitted missed opportunities had proved costly as his men were left to rue a lack of clinical finishing at Shelford.
Dunn felt Bournemouth failed to make their first-half dominance count and eventually paid the penalty for only going into the interval 10-6 in front.
Disruptions caused by injuries and unavailability also contributed as the hosts stormed ahead after the break to run out 30-15 victors at Davey Field on Saturday.
A try from Sam Hardcastle and five points from the trusty boot of Dan Pollard had put Lions in a strong position in the National Two South clash.
But Shelford fought back in the second half with a double from Aki Lea and a further score from Alex Kelsall, with debutant Rory Hutchinson registering six perfect kicks to ensure a Pollard try proved little more than a consolation.
Lions director of rugby Dunn told the Daily Echo: “It was a story of missed chances. We had two further opportunities in the first half and could have been out of sight. We didn't get far enough in front to kill them off.
“We got as far as the try-line and couldn't convert the chances. You have got to work so hard to get try-scoring opportunities at this level and the cover defence is such that they work hard and scramble.”
Bournemouth had been forced to draft in former Durham University number eight Iain Pearce due to Tommy Booth being unable to make kick-off.
His brother Dean Pearce, playing in the centre, sustained a dislocated shoulder while Andy Spikings injured his knee as problems mounted for Lions.
Dunn explained: “People will look at the score and think it was just another defeat for Bournemouth but, for long periods of the game, we were the better side. We scored a good try and were the better team for the majority of the first half and large parts of the second.
“But we had a bit of disruption. Iain Pearce made his debut at the last minute because of Tommy Booth's work commitments.
“We signed him late on and he started at number eight - and quickly got put in the sin bin. Then, his brother Dean, dislocated his shoulder.
“Andy Spikings also suffered a knee ligament injury so there was some disruption.”
The defeat, together with Taunton's 28-10 win at Clifton, saw Lions dragged closer to the division's bottom three.
But despite watching his team suffer a third successive loss, Dunn remained defiant.
He added: “The spirit and determination are extremely high.”
Lions: Spikings (Burns, 25), Manning, Firetto (Andrews, 50), Forrest, Seward (Collier, 60), Wilford, Grace, I Pearce (Booth, 42), Hardcastle, Stevenson, Connolly, D Pearce (Stewart, 30), Chislett, Edwards, Pollard.