BURY St Edmunds had their bonus point wrapped up by half-time as they swept aside struggling Bournemouth 34-21 in National Two South.

The Suffolk side wasted little time in getting ahead, leading 19-0 with just a quarter of the game gone.

Lions rallied, scoring tries through Ryan Hughes, Joe Spiller and Toby Kenneally but the margin was too great to chase down.

“We knew they had a very dangerous back three, so we planned to push them wide so that if they did score it was in the corners,” said Lions head coach Mike Pope.

“We did well, but to be fair they managed to play around us.

“We won the second half, but made a few errors at the line-out and in our basic skills which was really disappointing."

The dangerous backs of sixth-placed Bury caused problems from the off with Ciaran Leeson beating four men to break the deadlock. Will Affleck and a second from Leeson extended the lead before Hughes reduced the arrears two minutes before half-time.

However, that joy was short-lived as Tom Milosevic secured a bonus point for his side moments later to go 24-7 up.

The second period began as the first had finished, with Bury piling the pressure on the Bournemouth line as scrum-half Jack Harvey darted over for Bury’s fifth.

Lions scored their second through sub hooker Spiller on 67 minutes with Grant Hancox converting. But it was déjà vu for the home fans as an immediate lapse in concentration gifted the visitors a try in reply, replacement Mike Stanway stretching the lead to 34-14 going into the final 10 minutes.

Bournemouth, chasing a bonus point that could be vital in their battle for survival, scored a short-range effort after several phases through lock Kenneally.

However, that would be it for the home supporters as they saw their team slip closer to relegation.

Despite the score against a team challenging the promotion places, there was plenty of encouragement for a young team decimated by injuries in recent weeks.

“Alan Manning was incredible as always,” said Pope.

“It was great to see Ben Russell back from concussion and an ankle injury, James Griffiths made a serious impact from the bench.

"We are proud of that performance, but were beaten by the better team.”

Bournemouth remain nine points from safety at the foot of the table, and were not helped by Old Redcliffians who earned a losing bonus point at home to Leicester Lions. Defeat against Barnes this weekend could all but seal their fate.

Pope said: “We’re still at bottom of the table. Survival is not unachievable mathematically, but the message to the boys is to focus on performance.”

Lions: Sutherland, Higgins (Kingswell, 77), Gleadowe, Snell (Hancox, 28), Kingswell (Meaden, 44), Chislett, Hardcastle, Davies (Spiller, h-t), Manning, Firetto, Roberts, Kenneally, Carkeet (Griffiths, 55), Warwick (Russell, h-t), Hughes.