BOURNEMOUTH fell to their fifth defeat in as many games this season in the club’s first match since the sudden departure of now former director of rugby Will Croker.

Croker left the club with immediate effect ahead of Lions’ 39-14 National Two South defeat to mid-table Old Albanian.

After a gruelling opening to the season that saw them face three of last year’s runaway top five, Bournemouth were looking for their first points in the league.

But it was a familiar story as the hosts crossed through centre Joshua Hallett, with fly-half Joe Butler converting to put his side 7-0 up within the opening exchanges.

The teams then exchanged tries in a tense first half, with Bournemouth second-row Harry Leadbeater scoring a close range effort, before rampaging home number eight Oliver Stonham crossed again to put his side ahead 15-7 at the interval.

A blistering start to the second half put Old Albanian out of sight, as star man Stonham, scrum-half Morgan Thompson and hooker Jamie Townsend all went over in the first 10 minutes.

Had Butler brought his kicking boots, the scoreboard could have looked a lot worse for Lions, who took rare consolation from a try from half-time substitute Scott Chislett which was converted by fly-half Grant Hancox.

But two further late tries for the hosts coming from centre Nico Defeo and substitute Daniel Watt gave them a convincing victory.

Bournemouth prop Luca Firetto said: “Going to sleep for seven minutes cost us.

“We were well in it at half-time, we just needed to come out firing. Unfortunately, a few errors cost us. It is just about trying to string together 80 minutes of a performance.”

Lions president Doug Warren added: “Ultimately it was disappointing to give away so many points, largely through our own mistakes.

“Poor kicking and losing the ball in the contact. We could have had four tries ourselves.”

Bournemouth sit rock bottom of the pile heading into Saturday’s home contest with fellow strugglers Westcliff.