BOURNEMOUTH slipped to the foot of the Regional 1 South Central table after a thrilling 39-39 draw at Brighton.

Coming into the game on a four-match losing run, Lions took an early 6-0 lead through two Grant Hancox penalties.

That advantage extended as Ryan Morrell demonstrated his speed and power to storm past multiple challenges and cross the whitewash.

A series of errant passes allowed Brighton back in, reducing the arrears to 13-10, before a Hancox kick gave the visitors some breathing space again heading into the half-time break.

But Brighton made a strong start to the second period, securing the ball from kick-off and going on to score a try.

The hosts would then take the lead for the first time, exploiting space at a lineout to move 22-16 ahead.

Back came the Lions, Alan Manning finding a gap to power through and score his side’s second try.

Bournemouth opened up a six-point advantage through the foot of Hancox, only for scores to be levelled at 29-29 as Lions’ defence was caught off-guard.

A fracas followed the try, with a penalty being awarded, which was duly converted by Hancox.

Brighton edged in front at 34-32 as their forwards exerted pressure, eventually leading to a yellow card for Hancox. Brighton opted for a scrum and found the breakthrough.

They then looked to have closed in on victory with another try, although the missed conversion gave Bournemouth hope.

And the Lions ensured a share of the spoils as Antony Fitch embarked on a 50-metre sprint to score, before converting himself to level the contest.

Bournemouth host second-bottom Horsham on Saturday.