FRUSTRATED team boss Neil Middleditch felt Poole Pirates had been on the rough end of some crucial refereeing calls having returned from Eastbourne empty-handed.

Battling Pirates were within a whisker of grabbing a precious Elite League point from fortress Arlington last night but eventually went down 50-40 as no fewer than eight Poole riders suffered falls.

With the home side six points in front with two heats to go, Middleditch was particularly irked by referee Dale Entwhistle’s calls on spills involving Josh Grajczonek and guest Edward Kennett as Poole’s potential yield slipped through their grasp.

Middleditch told the Daily Echo: “I thought we were worthy of a point and couldn’t have done a lot more.

“We were disappointed with the outcome and, once again, a couple of refereeing decisions went against us, during heat 15 in particular.

“Eddie (Kennett) had nowhere to go but the fence and all four should have been called back.

“In the previous heat, Josh (Grajczonek) locked up and got excluded and that was another instance where we felt all four should have been in the re-run so our luck was certainly out.

“If these decisions were consistent I wouldn’t mind so much but we have seen so many different permutations in similar situations over the past few weeks and we have felt a little hard done by.

“The track was a bit heavy and with the shape and size of the Eastbourne surface, it was always going to be difficult to handle but I wouldn’t blame the defeat on that.

“It was one of those nights and fair play to the Eagles. It was difficult to take but we move on.”