BOURNEMOUTH’S slim survival hopes were dealt a double blow at the end of each half as high-flying Hartpury College completed a 29-5 victory yesterday.
Jack Hennings had levelled the score at 5-5 for Lions but the Gloucestershire outfit ran in two tries in the final six minutes of the first half to take control.
The second half had seemed destined for stalemate until College repeated their late show with Stephen Reynolds’s double completing his hat-trick to secure a bonus point for the hosts.
It marked a 14th straight league defeat for Budge Pountney’s charges who find themselves cut adrift from National Two South safety by 19 points with only 10 matches to play.
A quick switch across from one wing to the other saw Nathan Thomas open Hartpury’s account after 10 minutes before Hennings bundled over from close range after half-an-hour.
However, Bournemouth’s hopes of ending a scrappy first half on level terms were soon dashed as the hosts’ pack went flying forward for Steven Leonard to score.
Matters got worse when Joe Rees was sin-binned before the break while Reynolds took full advantage to add Hartpury’s third on the whistle.
Lions held firm after the interval, despite seeing Russell Westcott harshly banished to the touchline for 10 minutes for what was deemed a deliberate knock-on.
But with five minutes left, the pressure finally told as Hartpury rallied to register their fourth and fifth tries of the afternoon through Reynolds.
Lions: Pollard (Sutherland, h-t), Westcott, Lynch, Chislett, Berthonneau, Drake, Hardcastle (Metters, 70), Spikings, Wilford, Manning, Hennings (Fulljames, 55), Fuller, Hart (Scott, 70), Rees (Vaughan-Edwards, h-t), Booth.
- Director of rugby Budge Pountney was unavailable for comment.