“I think he robbed us of the meeting. It was completely unprofessional” – King’s Lynn Stars rider rages about referee after defeat at Poole
- Credit: IAN BURT
Furious King's Lynn top gun Niels-Kristian Iversen says referee Dave Robinson 'robbed' his side of victory at Poole after he was controversially excluded from a last-heat decider as Pirates pipped Stars 48-42 in Dorset.
The visitors went into the race trailing Poole 43-41, and a heat advantage from Iversen and partner Rory Schlein would have been enough to clinch their second win of 2014 at Wimborne Road.
Iversen was leading Poole racer Vaclav Milik on bend two, with Pirates skipper Darcy Ward at the front. The Czech made an over-zealous attempt to round the world number three, but ran out of room and bailed into the second-bend air fence.
Despite the fact Iversen was in front and couldn't see Milik, Robinson switched on the white exclusion light to leave Iversen irate and Stars' victory hopes in tatters.
Ward and Milik skilfully saw off Schlein in the re-run to seal a crucial win for Pirates as they bid to defend their Elite League championship.
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King's Lynn left Poole with a consolation point for losing by six points or less, but that did little to lighten Iversen's mood.
He said: 'I couldn't even see Milik, so what could I do? He is supposed to shut off the gas if there is no room and he didn't do that. I think it was a completely terrible decision from the referee.
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'I think he robbed us of the meeting. It was completely unprofessional. I have nothing more to say about it. It was rubbish.
'We fought hard all night, so to have the meeting destroyed by a poor referee sucks.'
Despite Poole holding a six-point lead after eight races, the Stars fought back superbly with two 5-1s and a 4-2 – the highlight of which was 16-year-old Norfolk racer Robert Lambert's maximum with Iversen ahead of Polish international Przemyslaw Pawlicki in heat 11.
But Poole hero Kyle Newman, who starred on 11 paid 13 at reserve, headed Nicklas Porsing in race 12 to inspire a 4-2 with Josh Grajczonek.
He then joined Milik on a 5-1 over Stars young guns Lewis Rose and Lambert in heat 14 to keep Pirates in the hunt.
Six of the Stars registered at least a paid win. But a solid team display from King's Lynn did not yield them the reward Iversen felt they deserved in an epic meeting.