BERWICK Bandits boss Gary Flint was left unimpressed by what he described as "strange decisions" from referee Simon Humphrey-Kennett, as his side fell to a 49-41 defeat against Poole Pirates.

The meeting was finely poised at Wimborne Road, the hosts leading 38-34 going into heat 13.

Bandits duo Chris 'Bomber' Harris and Leon Flint, son of boss Gary, lined up having been unbeaten by an opponent all night.

However, the visitors' hope of a shock victory were dashed when Leon Flint was excluded after sliding off as he looked to go around the outside of Pirates duo Richard Lawson and Danny King after the first bend of lap one.

Harris won the re-run, on his way to a stunning paid maximum 17+1, but Pirates went on to clinch the meeting win with a 5-1 in the following heat.

Leon Flint was the third rider excluded for an early fall on the night, with Nathan Ablitt and Ricky Wells also going down in similar areas.

“Twice we have fallen victim to strange decisions when riders have been left nowhere to go and yet they have been excluded," boss and promoter Gary Flint said.

“At the very least you would expect all four riders back for a re-run. As a club it is hard to accept decisions like that which effectively decided the meeting.”

He added: “It is especially hard to take because the boys worked so hard to get something from the night.

“Jonas (Knudsen) made a good debut while Bomber was just different class. Leon looked odds-on to get something out of heat 13 for us but was denied by a poor piece of refereeing.

“But we have no comeback, the points are gone and it’s a long journey home with nothing to show for our efforts.”

Reflecting on the decision to exclude Leon Flint from heat 13, Pirates team boss Neil Middleditch said: “Leon’s exclusion in particular was very tough and I would have had no complaints if it had gone the other way or especially if the referee had called first bend bunching.”

The result saw Pirates move up to second in the SGB Championship table, while Berwick remain bottom.