HEAD coach Will Croker was pleased with the way Bournemouth kept control to seal a 32-25 success at Weston-super-Mare on Saturday.

Lions recorded an away victory in South West Premier at the first time of asking with a bonus-point triumph.

Sam Hardcastle touched down twice for the visitors and there were also tries for Grant Hancox and Dan Stewart. Hancox picked up 17 points in the clash.

Croker told the Daily Echo: “The most important thing for me was we had talked all week about control and being able to maintain the ball for long periods with high rucks and breakdown stats.

“We did that, especially in the first half. In the main, we felt strong and it was one of those games where last season we would have lost it. It took a lot of heart, commitment and control.”

Having trailed 10-0 early against Weston, who were promoted last season, Croker’s men fought back quickly with a try from Stewart.

He crossed after a good run from Alex Everett-Bolter, with Hancox adding the extras.

Stalwart scrum-half Hardcastle then touched down to put Lions ahead before Weston added a converted score to lead 17-14 at the interval.

Following the break, another strong run from Everett-Bolter allowed Hancox to score as the sides continued to trade blows.

An unconverted try from Weston ensured they again regained the lead and put the contest in the balance at 22-21.

But a penalty from Hancox and another try for Hardcastle – which also took him past 900 points for the club – gave Lions the advantage going into the latter stages.

With Hancox slotting home another penalty late on, Croker’s charges managed to stand firm in the closing minutes to seal victory, despite soaking up some late pressure.

Croker added: “We weren’t 10-0 down for long. We fairly quickly got back up and running.

“The nice thing was, from that point, we didn’t lose belief.

“Even when we scored and they scored again, the guys went under the posts and said ‘forget that, we will score next’. It was a pleasing mentality to have.

“We always fancy ourselves to score tries. In terms of ideas and breaking down defences, we have some very clever players.

“It’s about being able to draw a line under a score from the opposition and making amends quickly by getting our hands back on the ball and getting control of it to go and do our thing.”

The result means Bournemouth have two victories from their opening three league games after a defeat to Newbury Blues and a win against Bracknell.

Lions host Camborne, who finished third last season, at Chapel Gate on Saturday (3pm).

Lions: Sutherland, Everett-Bolter, Hancox, Chislett, Stewart, Davies, Hardcastle; Hughes, Wilford, Manning, Roberts, Hennings, Sharp, Bennett, Rees. Replacements: Firetto, Christopher, Gleadowe.