WORLD Cup winner Will Greenwood watched his Maidenhead side scupper Bournemouth's flawless record before tipping the Dorset outfit for the South West Premier title.

Coach Greenwood, who memorably helped England edge out Australia to secure global glory in 2003, admitted Lions possessed the best team in the league but warned the Dorset club every side would raise their standards against them.

Bournemouth's lead at the summit was cut to six points after they came unstuck on Maidenhead's 3G surface on Saturday.

A powerful pack buoyed by returning players guided the hosts to a 28-16 victory, ending Lions' 11-match winning streak.

Despite the defeat, Bournemouth head coach Will Croker said former Leicester and Harlequins star Greenwood had spoken highly of his team's play.

Croker told the Daily Echo: "He said 'you are the comfortably the best team in this league and you will win it'.

"He was very generous in what he said and from a World Cup winner, you take that.

"The guys were buoyed by it. We came away with a loss but it was great to hear from someone who knows the game like him to say we are doing things the right way."

Hooker Mark Darlington got Maidenhead off and running when he crossed in the fifth minute, Ed Keohane adding the extras.

A pair of Adam Davies penalties drew Lions back within a point before Ali Bennett was shown a yellow card for stopping a counter-attack with a trip.

The hosts made the extra man count before the interval with a converted Dave Cole try.

Davies continued to kick his team to within touching distance with another penalty but a second Cole effort and extras from Keohane stretched to two converted tries the lead. Laurence Leonard's try and another conversion extended the advantage further.

Lions went in search of a losing bonus point but Alan Manning's try and Davies's extras left them with nothing to show for their efforts.

Croker admits his side need to "embrace the challenge" of being the team everyone wants to beat.

"Maidenhead came out and played their socks off," said Croker.

"Will Greenwood said to me in the second half, 'this is the problem you have got when you are the best team in the league, everybody raises their standards to play you'.

"We are going to be the team people are targeting. Even though we lost on Saturday, we are still top and clear by six points.

"People are going to be gunning for us. We have to expect and accept it. We need to embrace the challenge.

"We have the wherewithal, the ability and the skill set to be able to come out the other side.

"It came as a bit of a shock on Saturday and now we have to get back to what we do, get back to our game plan and the shapes we produce on the pitch.

"Where we had been in such control in the previous 11 games, it was the first time this season that we came under that type of pressure and we will learn from it very quickly."