ROVERS recorded their first home win of the season after they survived a late fightback from a Bournemouth team who looked dead and buried at the break.
Gary Bowyer’s side, watched by members of the Rao family, of owners Venky's, for the second home game running, were three goals to the good at half-time.
Jordan Rhodes, fresh from being given the news that Venky’s would not sanction his sale to Hull City, opened the scoring before skipper Grant Hanley and Rudy Gestede gave Rovers what appeared to be an unassailable lead.
But the Cherries, who were the last team to leave Ewood Park with three points way back on March 12, set up a nail-biting finish after Brett Pitman – from a ridiculously awarded penalty – and Steve Cook netted in the final nine minutes of normal time.
But Rovers held on to move up to 10th, with seven points from their opening four matches of the campaign, in the early Championship standings.
Bournemouth, clearly confident after winning two of their opening three league games, enjoyed 77% of the possession in the first 10 minutes.
But, apart from a Junior Stanislas 20-yard drive that Paul Robinson gathered at the second attempt with Callum Wilson ready to pounce, they were unable to do anything with it.
And Rovers, who kept to their shape impressively in the opening period, made them a pay with a stunning three-goal 11-minute salvo kick started by – who else ? – Rhodes on his 100th appearance for the club.
There appeared little on when the prolific striker chased down a ball down the right flank, But Rhodes made something out of nothing by dispossessing the dithering Cook inside his own box before sliding a cool left-footed shot through the legs of Lee Camp and into the back of the net.
It was the Scotland international’s first goal of the season and, incredibly, his 54th for Rovers following his club record £8m move from Huddersfield Town two years ago.
Former Burnley winger Stanislas threatened a 20th-minute equaliser when he sent a first-time effort straight down the throat of Robinson after Hanley had challenged Wilson.
But a minute later Rovers doubled their advantage as Tom Cairney swung over a corner from the left for Hanley to steer a firm header toward the top corner that Cherries goalkeeper Camp could only help on its way into the net.
Like his Scotland team-mate Rhodes, it was the centre back’s first goal of the campaign.
But Gestede is now up to three for the term after he extended Rovers’ advantage three minutes later.
Not that he knew much about it as Craig Conway’s 25-yard daisy cutter – after another Cairney corner had only been half cleared – deflected off the big forward’s leg and wrong-footed Camp.
It was Gestede’s 12th goal in his last 12 starts.
And he could have had another in the 28th minute as he headed inches wide with Camp beaten.
Then it was the turn of Rhodes to go desperately close as he collected a cutback into the area from man of the match Markus Olsson and lashed the ball left footed against the post.
Camp then palmed away a stinging drive from Ben Marshall – the only change to the Rovers team which started the controversial and agonising loss at Norwich City in midweek – as Rovers appeared capable of scoring every time they surged forward.
But Bournemouth, who were unchanged from the side which started their undeserved midweek defeat to Nottingham Forest, survived until the break, before emerging after it a much more dangerous proposition.
Firstly, after Cairney failed to clear after a Stanislas free kick had hit the wall, Robinson made a truly breathtaking save to turn Yann Kermorgant’s 18-yard left-footed curler on to the bar.
The former England number one, who made an even better stop against Norwich, then denied Stanislas and Wilson, the latter after a sharp one-two with Kermorgant.
But slowly but surely Rovers worked their way back into the contest and Alex Baptiste really should have got in on the act in the 69th minute as he headed over a Cairney corner after escaping his marker.
So it came against the run of play when the Cherries were given a glimmer of hope by referee Geoff Eltringham, who inexplicably pointed to the spot after he adjudged Baptiste to have tripped Adam Smith in the box when he the right back had clearly dived.
Substitute Pitman did the rest from the spot as he sent Robinson the wrong way.
Josh King should have settled any lingering nerves after excellent approach play from Craig Conway, the Rovers sub blazing over from 12 yards.
And it could have proved a costly miss as, after Gestede had a goal chalked off for offside, Cook headed home a Charlie Daniels corner in the 90th minute.
The woeful Eltringham indicated there would be four minutes of injury time.
But he ended up playing five and a half and only a brilliant block from Baptiste denied Bournemouth an equaliser.
Rovers: Robinson, Lowe, Baptiste, Hanley, Olsson, Marshall (King 60), Evans, Cairney, Conway, Rhodes (Dunn 77), Gestede. Subs not used: Eastwood, Henley, Varney, Williamson, Taylor.
Booked: Evans, King, Robinson.
Goals: Rhodes 13, Hanley 21, Gestede 24.
Bournemouth: Camp, Smith, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Ritchie (Fraser 46), Arter, O’Kane, Stanislas (Pitman 74) Kermorgant (Rantie 66), Wilson. Subs not used: Flahavan, Cargill, Harte, Gosling.
Booked: Cook, King.
Goals: Pitman 81 pen, Cook 90.
Referee: Geoff Eltringham.