ALUN Rossiter was left angered by the actions of referee Dave Robinson after Swindon Robins’ 36-26 home loss to Coventry Bees last night.
The match was cut to only 10 heats after wet weather and poor visibility was judged to have made the track unraceable, with an inspection called for before the start of heat 10 with the Bees leading 31-25.
The heat was subsequently run with the visitors claiming a maximum which ensured they took all four league points.
Rossiter insisted the match should have been abandoned after nine heats due to the pouring rain and, visibly angered by Robinson’s decision to allow one more heat, suggested the referee allowed the race to go ahead in dangerous conditions so that the result would stand.
“The attitude of the referee was shocking, absolutely shocking,” he said.
“It was pouring down and of course Coventry wanted one more race, they were in front, but the meeting was still there to be taken. The referee said ‘we will do one more race’, so did we do one more race just so he could call it as a Coventry win? We could have still won that meeting if it had carried on all the way through because we were in it.
“We were happy to go up to heat nine but it then started pouring down and it wasn’t safe. We shouldn’t have gone out in heat 10 because it was dangerous. You could see that by the way Peter Kildemand rode because in sensible conditions he is almost unbeatable around here.
“Of course Coventry wanted to go out there because we physically couldn’t win the match if it was only one more race.”
Rossiter is also set to put in an official complaint to the SCB about the referee after an incident in the pits which was caught on camera by a trackside photographer.
“He manhandled me out there too and I am putting in a complaint about that,” he said.
“He grabbed me and said ‘you’re fined £375’ and referees shouldn’t do that. I have some evidence so will be putting in an official complaint.
The meeting was delayed for 35 minutes following a horror crash involving Purton teenager Darryl Ritchings in heat two.
The young reserve left the track in an ambulance after he hit the fence on the straight, a metre before the start of the airbag, and was knocked unconscious. Ritchings was taken to Great Western hospital in the back of a second ambulance where he spent the night.
"We all wish Darryl well and we hope he is back with the team soon," Rossiter said.
After the meeting survived what was in truth an hour’s worth of trickling rain before the scheduled start, Peter Kildemand got off to the perfect start in his new role as Robins number one with victory over the man he replaced, Hans Andersen. The home man, who was captain for the night, missed the gate but thundered past his close friend on the inside of turn one to take the win.
With Steve Worrall battling against Jason Garrity at the front of heat two, Ritchings gave chase to James Sarjeant in the battle for third and, as he looked to bulldoze past going into the first turn of lap two, he clipped the wheel of his opponent and crashed into the fence just a metre before the airbag came into play on the corner. After initially being knocked out cold, the Purton teenager was eventually sitting up on a stretcher and on his way to Great Western Hospital.
After a 35-minute break while Ritchings was taken to hospital, Worrall got boxed in at the start as the Bees pairing took a maximum from heat two, before guest Bjarne Pedersen put in a brave first corner to win a shared third heat ahead of his fellow guesting Eastbourne rider Cameron Woodward.
Worrall and Simon Gustafsson were both left standing at the start as the Bees pairing of Ryan Fisher and Sarjeant took a maximum which left the Robins eight behind, although it looked as though the hosts were going to pull back four of those points in heat five before Kildemand’s bike problems cost them a 5-1 of their own. Nick Morris did, however, hold on superbly for the heat win.
Pedersen and Andersen did battle going into turns three and four of heat six before both hitting the fence, with Andersen excluded, but it was Woodward who won the re-run in a shared heat.
The Bees extended their lead as reserve Garrity and former Robin Howarth took a 5-1 over Worrall and Nicolai Klindt, but the Robins hit back with a 7-1 as Gustafsson and Pedersen, wearing black and white, crossed the line in first and second. However, the Robins advantage could have been more had Gustafsson looked over his shoulder a little more regularly to allow his tactical partner through although, in fairness, the Dane was twenty metres behind his partner.
As the rain fell more heavily a track inspection was called for as the riders came to tapes for the start of heat 10, following a shared heat nine, which the Bees took a 5-1 in to secure maximum points in wet conditions.