SKIPPER Chris Park stressed the importance of his side’s gutsy victory at Havant as their quest to beat the Southern Premier League drop continued.

Lions did a stellar job of defending a modest 132 all out to win by 40 runs, in a contest which was reduced to 47 overs per side due to rain at Havant Park.

Nick Park recorded a vital 61 at the top of the order to set the platform, before Lions’ bowlers Ed Denham (3-34), Dan Conway (2-16), Rob Pack (2-30), Jem Warner (2-3) and Simon Woodruff (1-7) skittled out the hosts for a miserly 92 in reply.

Victory was Lions’ third in 10 completed games this season – they remained second-from-bottom ahead of strugglers Basingstoke & North Hants, who picked up a 30-run victory at Burridge.

Chris Park told the Daily Echo: “It was a nice win for us but it was made even more important with Basingstoke winning as well.”

Having been asked to bat first, Bournemouth found themselves in all sorts of trouble when their captain fell to leave the score on 61 for seven.

But Nick Park and Pack (34) showed resistance to put on a stand of 69 for the eighth wicket.

And the Chapel Gate side set to work early with the ball, leaving the hosts in disarray at 18 for four in reply.

Wickets continued to tumble at regular intervals, as Bournemouth bowled out their opposition in 41.1 overs.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Chris Park said: “I lost the toss again and Havant is renowned for being a low-scoring ground. We knew straight away we would be up against it.

“Our batting again didn’t fire properly but Nick and Rob Pack’s partnership was match winning.

“Nick did not play a shot in anger all game. He was the stone who kept it all together – nobody could stay with him apart from Rob.

“For whatever reason, it was like Nick was batting on a different pitch on Saturday. He just made it look easy and rotated the strike.”

He added: “Bowling-wise defending 130-odd is never easy but Dan Conway and Simon Woodruff’s opening spells set the standard.

“With Rob coming on and Ed Denham bowling as best as I’ve ever seen him bowl, we kept taking wickets.

“The wickets just kept coming and the energy and momentum was with us. Finally we managed to get over the line.”

Lions picked up 18 league points for their efforts. They are set to host high-flying South Wilts in their final timed game of the season on Saturday (11am).