BOURNEMOUTH climbed off the foot of the Regional 1 South Central table after battling back to beat fellow strugglers Horsham 31-30 at Chapel Gate.

Lions led early on, before finding themselves 30-24 down heading into the closing stages, only for tables to turn again with Ben Hogan grabbing a late winning try.

In a crucial contest between two sides at the foot of the table, Lions got off to a good start.

Their forwards set the tone, before the ball was worked back to Hogan out on the wing, bursting over the line, with Grant Hancox converting.

Horsham looked to hit straight back, their momentum halted by a fumbled ball.

Bournemouth doubled their lead with half-time approaching, Antony Fitch finding the gap before Jordan Wayman applied the finish.

The visitors reduced the arrears with a well-earned try, having won a penalty following a scrum.

But Lions responded in kind, dominating a lineout and pushing forwards.

Horsham were reduced to 14 men, allowing Joe Desmond to get his side within touching distance of the line. Ben Kimber completed the job, to put Lions 19-7 up at the break.

An entertaining second half saw Lions’ strategic kicking game come to the fore.

A succession of penalties would disrupt their rhythm, before Horsham pulled back five points after a rolling maul.

Lions were left frustrated by a penalty decision then going against them, with Horsham breaking to cross the whitewash and tie the game.

Now on the back foot, Bournemouth soon found themselves behind for the first time, Horsham kicking over a penalty.

That lead then extended to 27-19, before Lions were presented with a lifeline, Desmond powering over from a scrum, to secure a bonus point.

The conversion was missed, allowing Horsham to move six points ahead with a penalty.

As the minutes dwindled, Lions rallied with a relentless push towards the Horsham line eventually leading to Hogan’s try in the corner.

Hancox composed himself, slotting home the resulting pressure kick to earn his side the win.