BOURNEMOUTH captain Chris Park admitted Bashley were “deservedly champions” of the Southern Premier League this season.

The Lions skipper saw his side narrowly beaten by five wickets at Chapel Gate – meaning Bash bagged the victory they needed to secure an unassailable lead at the top of the pile.

But the visitors were made to work for their 14th win in 16 games this campaign, having chased down their victory target of 239 with eight deliveries remaining.

Park told the Daily Echo: “We can be proud that twice this year we have competed with Bashley, who are deservedly champions.

“For 95 per cent of the time I thought we were going to win.

“We had them five down but Tom Friend batted lovely for 30 overs, took it right to the end and hit a couple of big boundaries right when the pressure was mounting.”

Having won the toss and elected to bat first, Lions had reached 105 before losing opener Nick Park (47).

Tom Robinson (52) and Adam Davies (3) then also fell to the bowling of Ross Grierson (3-33) before Luke Matthews (73) and Simon Woodruff (40) helped propel Bournemouth to 238 for five from their 50 overs.

Tom Jacques (25) and Bash skipper Michael Porter (32) put on an opening stand of 50 before being bowled and run out by Woodruff respectively.

But it was Friend who guided the visitors to victory, striking an unbeaten 84 from just 74 deliveries.

Park added: “For one of the only times this year the batting fired nicely. It played to the tactics and the plan - 238 was a decent total.

“But, unfortunately, we didn’t bowl fantastically in the first 10 overs and couldn’t claw it back right at the end.”

Bournemouth finish their campaign with a trip to Alton on Saturday.