DALE Youth Club have blasted referee Ann Elliott after Lewis Stanley saw his junior ABA Championship hopes dashed, writes Wally Downes.

Stanley, competing in the 54kg category at Hayes last week, put on a convincing display for himself and his corner, only for the final nod to go against him.

"It was a joke decision. You hear it every week, but we keep getting these bad decisions. It's really disappointing," raged Dale trainer Gary McGuinness.

Stanley's coach was adamant the result was the product of the referee's poor judgment and not his boxer's preparation.

"The kid trained so hard and he didn't deserve that. It was a ridiculous decision," said McGuinness.

"She totally lost control of the bout. She shouldn't be refereeing championship bouts - she should be doing little kids' bouts."

The coach put aside his anger to heap praise on Stanley, who travels from Reading to the Latimer Road gym to train, and is confident the youngster will bounce back.

"He boxed superbly and we couldn't be more happy with him," he said. "He was devastated. All he could say was 'I know I won, I know I won', and I agree; he was the clear winner. He had a big chance to go all the way in this competition and instead he's been stitched up at the start."

Ron Boddy, for the ABA, said: "1t was a close contest and a fair decision." * Earlier in the evening, Dale Youth's other representative Khlaid Ramadan was awarded a walkover in the class B, 57kg division.