BOURNEMOUTH are ramping up the pressure at the top of the ECB Southern Premier Division, their 18-run win over Lymington at Chapel Gate being their third on the spin, writes Mike Vimpany.

Victory took them to within two points of leaders St Cross Symondians.

On the other side of the coin, Lymington have slipped to second from bottom position, with four defeats from five outings and a solitary win at Burridge.

The visitors began positively enough, with Matt Metcalfe bowling his first 10-over spell since August 2019, slotting nicely into the groove as if he had never been away and nipping out Sam Collins and Luke Matthews in a pleasing 2-20 return.

With Josh Proctor bowling Nick Park, the Lions were not feasting at 48-3 in the 17th over.

Luke Webb (44) steadied the ship before captain Chris Park (43) and Rob Pack (36 not out) added 52 runs for the seventh wicket – the slimmed-down left-arm spin all-rounder arguably batting two places too low in the order.

South African Ximus du Plooy bowled an impressive 3-28 in his 10 overs as Bournemouth were restricted to 183-7, possibly a target within Lymington’s reach – if they could bat properly.

They certainly began well enough with youngsters Dan Cox (46) and wicketkeeper Luke Mortimore (27) providing a 75-run launch pad, one which gave them the initiative.

A spectacular run-out of Mortimore by Ed Denham, who had only one stump to aim at, upset the apple cart as Lymington went into freefall and lost all 10 wickets for 90 runs, with Denham (4-44), Pack (3-17) and Jake Hurley (2-48) taking control.

Du Plooy (24) tried to hold the middle order together but kept losing partners, 107-2 becoming 135-8 and an eventual 165 all out.

Lymington finished 18 runs short and were left to reflect on what might have been.

Bournemouth, who have won three out of four games played, host Hook & Newnham Basics on Saturday.