BOURNEMOUTH’S hopes of remaining in National Two South took a hammer blow as they were well beaten 43-19 at fellow strugglers Sutton & Epsom.

The result leaves Lions bottom of the pile, four points adrift of 15th-placed Old Redcliffians with 17 points from 22 games.

The visitors got off to the worst possible start when they lost influential fly-half Mike Pope to injury and full-back Alex Sutherland also hobbled off after just 12 minutes.

By this point, Sutton & Epsom were already 14-0 ahead and were dominant, racking up 26 unanswered points and four tries before half-time.

Ken Sasu was then Bournemouth’s latest injury departure before the visitors managed to get some points on the board.

Ryan Hughes touched down before Toby Kenneally doubled the try count for the away side, Andrew Kingswell slotted over the first of the resulting conversion attempts.

But the hosts hit back with two scores of their own, either side of Lions’ skipper Alan Manning touching down his sixth try of the season which was converted.

Bournemouth were left to ponder a chastening defeat in their battle to beat the drop.

Lions make the trip to take on Dings Crusaders at Shaftesbury Park on Saturday, looking for just their third win of the season.