BOURNEMOUTH head coach Will Croker insisted his squad would look to follow in the footsteps of Dings Crusaders in their quest for promotion from South West Premier.

Lions missed out on the chance to reach National Two South after a 38-23 play-off defeat to Guernsey Raiders on Saturday.

Dings suffered a 55-5 loss against Wimbledon during last season’s play-off before going on to win the division by 17 points and seal automatic promotion 12 months later.

With his side set to remain in English rugby’s fifth tier, Croker wants Lions to replicate Dings’ achievements during the 2018-19 campaign.

He told the Daily Echo: “I took great credit from the fact Guernsey said we were the best team they had played by some way this season.

“It’s nice to hear that type of stuff but it doesn’t get away from the fact we are going to be back in South West Premier.

“But you only have to look at Dings, who got absolutely thumped by Wimbledon in the play-off last year. They were in a far better place to go into the league this season and won it at a canter.

“We have to take that as our benchmark and try to do the same thing.”