ST CROSS threw a massive spanner in the works of Bournemouth’s ECB Southern Premier League ambitions by defeating the leaders by 47 runs at Chapel Gate.

That completed the double over the Dorset side, whom they also beat on the opening day of the season.

They did so by successfully defending a modest 127, the win keeping alive their own silverware prospects that had dimmed after three losses in the previous four matches.

Despite losing for a second time to St Cross, Bournemouth still lead the table by 11 points ahead of Saturday’s visit to South Wilts, who climbed into second place with an emphatic 81-run win at Bashley.

An indifferent batting performance, culminating in the team being bowled out for 80, proved costly for Bournemouth, who initially watched-grim faced as St Cross left-hand opener Tom Foyle (23) punished some loose new-ball bowling by striking five boundaries off the 11 balls he received.

Soon after, Oli Breckon had Foyle caught at extra-cover and when the young right-arm seamer, who finished with 4-42, ripped through the defence of both Brad Taylor and Ed Ellis, St Cross were wobbling at 45-3.

Wickets fell at 10 run intervals after that with left-arm spinner Rob Pack (3-10) extracting turn and bounce during an immaculate eight-over spell.

With Ed Denham (2-26) striking twice, St Cross lurched to 95-9, but were fortunate that Simon Beetham (30) kept his head and, with Alex Woolvine (13 not out) at his side, added a precious 32 for the last wicket.

South African Michael Booth’s pace then complemented the line and length of Beetham, who had the out-of-sorts Sam Collins caught behind and Dorset captain Luke Webb trapped leg before to leave Bournemouth 18-2.

The Lions progressed to 34 when St Cross claimed the key wicket of Nick Park, who miscued to give spinner Alex Woolvine (3-24) the first of his three scalps, which ripped the heart out of the Bournemouth middle-order.

Three runs later left-hander Simon Woodruff, who had carted Beetham for a big six over cow corner, was bowled by Harry Foyle (3-15).

Then Chris Park, like sibling brother Nick, mis-hit another half-tracker from Woolvine and St Cross began to sniff a potential victory.

Luke Matthews (22) and the often-dangerous Pack threatened a rally but, when Bournemouth’s vice-captain was pinned leg before to give Woolvine his third victim, the innings folded in quick time.

The last five wickets yielded five runs and Bournemouth were dismissed for 80, Dylan Clark (2-13) taking the last two scalps.

Bournemouth captain Chris Park said: “We had a bad day at the office. We had the chance to bowl St Cross out for less than 100 and then some poor shot selection led to four or five of us giving our wickets away.

“But it’s made the league interesting and our game at South Wilts next Saturday very important.”