BOURNEMOUTH skipper Chris Park admitted his side were “blown away” by the opening spell of Ventnor’s Chris Russell.

Lions saw their Southern League Division One title challenge rocked by the Isle of Wight paceman, who ripped out their top order as the visitors suffered a 105-run setback at Steephill.

Former Worcestershire star Russell took to 31 his tally of league wickets for the campaign with match-winning figures of five for 23.

The Chapel Gate outfit were bowled out for a miserly 117 chasing 223 for victory.

Park told the Daily Echo: “The first four or five overs from Chris Russell just blew us away.

“He bowled with good pace and got rid of my brother Nick and Luke Webb, who are two key batsmen for us, with some absolute snorters.

“Fair play to him and they deserved to win. He was match-changing. We felt like we were right in the game and, within six or seven overs, we were up against it.

“After that, it was a case of our middle order, who hadn’t batted recently, and the lower order, who hadn’t batted for a long time, not being able to get near any bonus points.”

Having lost the toss and been asked to field first, Bournemouth’s Dom Clutterbuck was the pick of the bowlers with four for 38.

Dan Conway (2-34), Jem Warner (2-32), Ed Denham (1-29) and Jake Hurley (1-47) also did damage as the hosts were dismissed with four deliveries to spare.

But Russell’s early demolition job ensured Lions would never get anywhere near their victory target.

He sent Bournemouth’s first four batsmen back to the shed with only 36 on the board, leaving Lions’ lower and middle order unable to pick up the pieces.

Clutterbuck (24) did his best to offer some resistance and top score at number nine before Bournemouth were dismissed in just more than 33 overs.

Lions’ defeat, their third of the season, was made worse by promotion rivals Sarisbury Athletic cruising to a nine-wicket win over Calmore.

The skipper’s day on the island was also lengthened, with a group of Lions’ contingent having to wait until later than planned during the return journey.

“Some of us missed a ferry, which was an absolute nightmare,” he added. “We were all there at 7.45pm for the 8.10pm ferry.

“Six or seven of us nipped into town to get some food and, unfortunately we didn’t get back. At 8.10pm, the ferry door closed and it was off!

“We had to hang around for another hour – six or seven of us were left stranded. The other boys went and they were sending pictures of my car in the car park. A long day just got worse!

“It was just a bad day at the office. We are all still smiling and we will move on.”

Bournemouth host third-placed Portsmouth at Chapel Gate on Saturday (12.30pm).