BOSS Will Croker described as a near “perfect” away performance Bournemouth’s important victory over Exmouth.

Lions extended to seven points their advantage at the South West Premier summit, having come away from Devon with a bonus-point 30-13 success.

Victory extended to 10 games their winning run and put the Chapel Gate side further ahead of title rivals Ivybridge, who were beaten 31-25 at home by Barnstaple.

Croker’s men were made to work for their maximum return at Imperial Recreation Ground, having trailed by a point during the early stages of the second half.

But Bournemouth turned on the style to showcase their title credentials against an Exmouth team who were previously unbeaten at home in the league this campaign.

The Lions head coach told the Daily Echo: “It was almost the perfect away performance in that, we went to a tough place to play, absorbed the pressure they threw at us then then picked them off on the counter.

“Exmouth had been in good form, they were undefeated at home this season and they played like it.

“They retained the ball for long periods of time and were an attacking threat. We had to defend very well and the aspect about the game I was most pleased with was our commitment in defence. We soaked up a lot of pressure.

“I was pleased with the accuracy in which we then attacked and how we converted what pressure we had into points. Once we did get our hands on the ball we looked a real threat.”

Scott Chislett’s neat run allowed him to touch down after seven minutes to open the scoring for the visitors before Bournemouth were pegged back.

Dave Bargent surged through to cross for Exmouth with full-back Tom Whelan adding the extras to put them 7-5 ahead.

But fly-half Adam Davies responded for Lions with a converted score before the interval.

Bournemouth’s unbeaten record was in the balance shortly after the break, as a successful Whelan penalty put Exmouth 13-12 in front.

But after conceding those points, Lions surged away from their opposition with 18 of their own without reply.

Davies donned his kicking boots to send over a pair of penalties. Dan Stewart then crossed for a score which was converted.

And the icing on the cake came for Croker when Grant Hancox touched down a fourth score for the all-important try bonus point.

“As far as we were concerned it was a big win in the context of the season but, if we are going to get promoted, we want 26 of those,” added the Bournemouth boss.

“We are now 10 down with 16 to go, we will just keep focusing on making sure we win as many of them as we can.

“We have got nine bonus points now – that’s the equivalent of a bonus-point win and a normal win.

“In terms of the bigger picture it keeps the pressure on. Whether it be a winning or losing bonus point, they do all count.”

Lions host Ivybridge in a crunch top-of-the-table clash at Chapel Gate on Saturday (2.30pm).