BOURNEMOUTH suffered another agonising defeat on Saturday, losing away 17-12 at promotion-chasing Redruth.

Lions had sent a youthful squad on the four-hour trip to deepest Cornwall that included six players under the age of 20.

It was an impressive performance from the inexperienced visitors against a Redruth side riding high in fifth place in National Two South that boast a draw with Henley and victories over Esher and Clifton among their results this season.

The game was an edgy affair to start, with the only scores in the first half-hour an exchange of penalties between Grant Hancox and Redruth stand-off Fraser Honey.

But the game took off when Redruth ran a prepared move off a midfield scrum, and Honey delivered an expansive pass to put winger Dean Bonds over. Honey’s conversion took the score to 10-3, with another Hancox penalty on the break – this time punishing a high tackle - sending the teams in 10-6.

The second half began with an uncharacteristically nervy miss off the tee from Hancox, but 10 minutes in he brought his team to within a point with a superb strike from wide after some Redruth indiscipline at the scrum.

The tense tug-of-war continued with both defences squeezing the side in possession out of space. But the hosts finally broke the deadlock on the hour mark when flanker Jake Clemson charged down Mike Pope’s clearance and chased it over the line, moving his team more than a score ahead at 17-9.

After a series of near misses and their epic last-gasp victory a week ago against Old Redcliffians, Bournemouth continued to fight right up to the final whistle. But this time it wasn’t to be, as a Hancox penalty brought the score back to 17-12 in the dying moments, where it remained.

Defeat sees Bournemouth stay bottom of the league on 13 points, trailing Old Reds on 18 and both Westcliff and Sutton & Epsom on 20. They travel to Worthing on Saturday (2pm).