BOURNEMOUTH skipper Chris Park admitted Lymington star Darren Cowley “took the game away” from his side in their first defeat of the campaign.

The hard-hitting left-hander struck a blistering 61 from just 36 deliveries, as Lymo sealed a two-wicket triumph at Chapel Gate to go joint-top of Southern Premier League.

Cowley (3-48) had also earlier claimed the wicket of close friend Park – the best man at his wedding – as Lions were bowled out for 196 having elected to bat first.

Asked about former Bournemouth and Dorset all-rounder Cowley’s display, Park told the Daily Echo: “It was him at his best with the bat. He hits the ball so sweetly – he took the game away from us.

“On another day he could hit the ball in the air, we catch it and it’s a completely different game.

“But when he is at full flow like that he’s a joy to watch and he just hits the ball everywhere. We were enjoying it but he was blowing at the end, which was quite funny!

“Getting out to him as well – he walked off smiling.“

A patient 61 from overseas star Gareth Schreuder had also helped Lymo seal their second win in as many games.

Earlier in the day, Bournemouth opener Luke Matthews (49) top scored for the hosts but Park admitted his frustration of not piling on the pressure batting first.

“It was a little bit of a lesson learned – not enough runs,” he added.

“There were people getting 20s and then getting themselves out. The middle order looked good and looked comfortable and then shot themselves in the foot by giving it away easily and cheaply.

“I think we can all hold our hands up as a top seven and say that we were maybe 40 runs short.

“When you win the toss and you bat first you want between 245 and 260 to be competitive.

“Maybe in Division One last year we got away with it because we were able to get a team four or five down and win the game.

“But in this league they have Matt Metcalfe coming in at the end. We know how good a player he is and I’d like to think this league is a higher standard – they have 10 or 11 good players, not seven."

Bournemouth have picked up 29 points from their opening two games. They host Havant on Saturday (12.30pm).