BOURNEMOUTH performance director Richard Sharp says Lions "played just like last season" as they scored their first league points of the season, defeating fellow strugglers Westcliff 39-12 at Chapel Gate, writes Adam Hunter.

Dan Stewart twice crossed the whitewash in the five-try show as the hosts moved off the foot of the National Two South table.

"It was great to see the boys energised and playing well," said Sharp.

"We talked about it before the game that the crowd would be expectant. On Saturday the team played just like last season."

Both clubs had targeted the showdown as an opportunity for points, each having been promoted after hugely successful 2018-19 seasons.

Neither side had registered a win before the weekend’s clash but the expectant home crowd was given hope after five minutes when full-back Grant Hancox kicked a penalty to put his side 3-0 up.

A set move from a line-out sent fans' favourite Dan Stewart over for the opening try, to the delight of the Bournemouth coaches. The visitors replied with a try of their own through prop Ewan Binneman just ahead of the break, sending the teams in at 13-7.

As play resumed, Lions put together a training ground move from a scrum on 40 metres when scrum-half Sam Hardcastle fed Hancox who passed inside to wing Alex Everett-Bolter for the home side's second try.

Hancox showed his class with a cross-field chip to set up centre Freddie Gleadowe for his third try of the season, swiftly followed by another from veteran Hardcastle, both converted by the trusty Hancox to leave the score 34-7. Bournemouth were out of sight, and the supporters celebrating the side’s first victory in this stint in the National League.

Hancox was sent to the bin moments later for an illegal clear out, and the visitors capitalised to bring the score back to 34-12 with Sam Reynolds doing the honours. But that was as good as it got for the away side as Stewart ran in a fifth for his side who finished 39-12 winners.

Bournemouth lift themselves off the bottom and above Westcliff with a much-needed win.

They head to third-placed Clifton on Saturday (2.30pm).

Lions: Hancox, Stewart, Gleadowe, Chislett, Everett-Bolter, Pope, Hardcastle, Napier, Manning, Firetto, Roberts, Leadbeater, Carkett, Russell, Rees.

Reps: Hughes, Knott, Kenneally, Snell, Sutherland.

Westcliff: Morrant, Kwaasi, B Reynolds, Whiting, Hogarth, Croft, Bolton, Meakin, Lynch, Binneman, Dartnell, Scogings, van der Molen, Webber, S Reynolds.

Reps: Morrant, Marsh, Binstead, Maloney, O'Brien.