THE 25-point penalty the Southern Premier League imposed on Bournemouth, after the opening round match against Hook & Newnham Basics at Chapel Gate on May 7 was abandoned due to an unsafe pitch, is beginning to bite hard.

The points deduction, coupled with back-to-back defeats by Burridge and St Cross Symondians, has left Bournemouth bottom of the table – and in need of a win pretty soon.

They visit enigmatic Lymington this Saturday before travelling to North Hampshire face Hook & Newnham Basics in a potentially crucial match at the KGV on July 9.

Bournemouth have won three matches so far – against Bashley, South Wilts and Totton & Eling – but fell to a five-wicket defeat by St Cross Symondians in their latest time pennant match.

Australian seamer Sam Beer (5-55) was their nemesis, Bournemouth losing their way after Tom Willoughby (41) and Simon Woodruff were parted at 89-2.

Woodruff (53) had to curb his normal attacking instincts and, with a patient half-century, did his best to hold the innings together as none of the last seven batters made double figures.

Defending a modest 172, Bournemouth enjoyed immediate success when Dan Conway bowled the dangerous Tom Foyle for a second-ball duck.

Soon after, Woodruff bowled young opener Ben Foster to leave St Cross 26-2, but Harry Trussler (41) and Harry Foyle got their heads down to deny Bournemouth any further inroads for a while.

Nonetheless, Bournemouth kept plugging away and with Trussler falling to the left-arm spin of Rob Pack, the match was in the balance with St Cross 103-5 and still needed another 70 for victory.

But Bournemouth were unable to shift Harry Foyle or the incoming Beer (24 not out), the all-rounders going on to win the game for St Cross Foyle hit a disciplined 63 not out.