BRIDPORT have been relegated from the Toolstation Western League Premier Division following an 8-1 thrashing at title-chasing Mousehole.

With five games remaining, the Bees are guaranteed to finish bottom behind Ashton & Backwell or Street, Bridport’s fellow strugglers drawing 2-2 this afternoon.

With the bottom side in each of the 16 Step 5 division going down, plus the four-worst second-bottom sides, Shaun Annetts’ side have finally taken the drop to Step 6.

In truth, this outcome has looked likely ever since the opening games of the season.

Bridport were beaten 7-1 and 7-0 by Helston Athletic and Shepton Mallet respectively in their opening two games.

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They have also taken just one win in all competitions this campaign, winning 2-1 against Ashton & Backwell.

Bridport did draw 2-2 at home to Brislington last weekend but needed three points at Mousehole plus Street to lose to prolong their stay in the Western League Premier.

As it was, their hopes were all but extinguished after 13 windswept minutes at Trungle Parc.

In rain and gale-force winds, the Bees quickly went 3-0 down as Louis Price, Callam McOnie and Mark Goldsworthy all netted.

Mousehole used well the conditions at their backs and extended their lead at half-time to 5-0 as McOnie and Hayden Turner scored.

While the elements were less severe in the second half, Bridport did enjoy a 20-minute spell of dominance as Riley Weedon fired a superb consolation into the bottom-left corner.

Weedon did have further chances, pinging three long-range shots at goal in an attempt to catch out Mousehole keeper Ollie Chenoweth in the swirling wind.

Mike Hill also tried his luck from distance before Ezra Osei-Kumi latched on to the through ball and lashed just wide of Chenoweth’s right-hand post.

Harry Burwood was another Bridport player to worry Chenoweth as the Bees did not go quietly.

Mousehole’s sixth did not come until the 79th minute as McOnie completed his hat-trick.

And Goldsworthy scored twice in two minutes late on to record his own treble and give the scoreline a slightly deceptive feel.

In a nice touch, Mousehole then gave Bridport keeper Josh Lucas the man-of-the-match award.

After relegation was confirmed, Annetts said: “Our destiny was decided some months ago probably, with what’s happened. It’s no surprise.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Bridport caretaker boss Shaun Annetts Picture: STEPHEN BARRETTBridport caretaker boss Shaun Annetts Picture: STEPHEN BARRETT

“When I was asked to take over as interim at Christmas I had no expectation to try and keep us in the division, the damage had already been done.

“The players, myself and people at the club have known this was going to happen, but the club I’m sure will regroup in the summer.

“The new management team will recruit and hopefully they’ll be competitive and look to bounce back.

“They’ll build and try and get back to the level we’ve played at. There’s no doubt the Toolstation is the strongest it’s been for some time.

“There are not many poor sides in the division. Typically, with where we’re at, it’s been a double-whammy.”

On the result at Mousehole, he added: “Conditions were horrific, the worst I’ve had in my footballing career. It was farcical.

“But we arrived and the referee had major concerns before kick-off. I was keen that we didn’t have to turn round and do this trip again.

“We got the 90 minutes in, so no complaints. You don’t see (conditions) like this any more, those days are long gone.

“I know 8-1 looks a really bad day at the office, but it was far from that. The conditions helped them when we had 60, 70 mile-per-hour winds into our faces.

“There was nothing we could do to get the ball out, they played well, scored five goals and probably could’ve scored more.

“Second half, those conditions lessened but we got a goal back, Riley scored a great finish and we had chances to get a second and third.

“We had Mousehole worried for a 20-minute period but they scored more late on to rub a bit of salt in the wounds. Did the lads deserve that? Possibly not.

“I’m very proud of my lads who’ve put in a fantastic shift with players having to play out of position because of lack of availability. It’s one more game chalked off.”

Bridport have two weekends off before hosting Street on Saturday, April 2.

Bees: Lucas, Ja Scadding, Owen, Greenwood-Neate, A Steele, Vasile, Burwood, Osei-Kumi (Brook 65), Hill (Buchanan 75), Weedon, Arnold.