WILL Croker hailed Bournemouth's response in the 57-30 thumping of Brixham – but admitted shipping two late tries had tempered his delight.

Beaten 52-30 at Maidenhead in their previous South West Premier fixture, Lions roared back with an eight-try display at Chapel Gate, allowing them to close to three points the gap on second-place Newton Abbot.

While pleased to secure a comfortable victory, head coach Croker confessed the new total in the points difference column had been his only gripe.

Croker told the Daily Echo: "I demanded the players look at themselves individually and collectively after the defeat against Maidenhead.

"That was a bit of a jolt and I wanted that to be a moment we looked back on at the end of the season as the wake-up call we required.

"We knew we had to be on our mettle against Brixham as they had beaten Newton Abbot and only lost one of their previous six.

"I was over the moon with the application we put in but it was a frustration that we did not kill them off in the first hour and that we allowed them a couple of soft tries towards the end.

"We are trying to stop the opposition getting bonus points and making sure we close down the points difference gap on the teams above us.

"Fourteen points coughed up was a bit frustrating but on the whole it was an incredible turnaround from the previous week."

Skipper Joe Rees got Lions off and running with his first score of the season, which Grant Hancox converted.

The scores were soon level when Noah Nash replied and Tom Putt added the extras, before penalty goals from both sides saw matters move to 10-10.

Adam Davies weaved his way through for a converted try and after Putt replied with a penalty, replacement Pat Fraser's maiden score for the first XV – converted by Hancox – extended the lead.

Brixham chipped away with another penalty but Dan Stewart sealed a bonus point when he went over close to the posts.

Midway through the second half, Putt was red carded for a tip tackle on Harry Davis and the visitors were up against it.

Hancox ran in from 30 metres and Rees bulldozed over for his second, both scores being converted.

The score moved to 50-16 when Hancox touched down under the posts and added the goal, while a Brixham penalty try was followed by a Joe Lovell score.

Lions had the final word. Scott Chislett collected Davies's chip and the supporting Freddie Gleadowe finished the job, with Hancox adding his eighth goal.

Croker's men are due to travel to Newton Abbot on Saturday before seven days later travelling to Bracknell for their final pre-Christmas fixture.

Lions: Hancox, Davis, Gleadowe, Chislett, Stewart, Adam Davies, Veneroso, Napier, Manning, Firetto, MacDonald, Treloar, Henning, McDonald, Rees. Replacements: Bennett, Fraser, Kirkpatrick.