KEIGHLEY Cricket Club have been plunged into major relegation danger, after a disastrous couple of weeks in Division One of the Bradford Premier League.

First, their game against Gomersal was abandoned by the umpires following, according to the Bradford League, "persistent and prolonged challenging of their decisions by one Keighley player (skipper Scott Etherington) and the liberal use of profanities when doing so".

That led to a 30-point deduction for the club, and Keighley's problems were compounded when they lost by five wickets at East Ardsley on Saturday, a result that took the hosts out of the drop zone and dumped the visitors into it.

Etherington was not playing at East Ardsley, with the club agreeing to suspend him until the end of the season.

Former Keighley captain and recently-installed club chairman Max Davidson called this "probably the most stressful year of my life" when speaking to the Keighley News.

He also said: "The investigations are still ongoing, so I'm reluctant to say too much.

"We've had those points docked, having had them suspended for previous conduct, so that was always going to happen if we transgressed again.

"But we had to put a case forward in our defence to other charges, and are yet to have a response from the league on that just yet."

Davidson added: "We've got an internal investigation ongoing too, so I don't want to say too much on the league or Scott.

"He's our captain and we've got to go through the process with him."

On the sudden prospect of relegation, Davidson said: "We're going to have to do our best in our last two games, and as long as we win them, it gives us a chance to stay up

"We don't deserve to be in this position based on our performances in previous games, so it's tough to take.

"But we've got to crack on, try and do our best in these last two games, and hope other results go our way.

"At the start of the season, we felt there were a lot of a positives at the club, we're now in a position where it's not so positive, but it's (avoiding relegation) still just about in our hands."

Davidson also clarified that Keighley had provisionally lost 38 points, having now also been denied the five points you would normally pick up for an abandoned game, as well as the three bowling bonus points they had already accrued against Gomersal.

The Bradford League's chief executive officer Alan Birkinshaw gave the league's take on the situation, saying: "This is the first time we've ever had to apply the 30-point penalty, as normally the threat of it is sufficient enough deterrent for clubs not to transgress again."

Birkinshaw added: "Keighley agreed to stand Scott down, that wasn't something we asked of them.

"But he still faces further disciplinary action and potential punishment beyond his three-match suspension from the club.

"It's been an ongoing thing this season though, it's not just Scott, others at Keighley have been disciplined apart from him.

"It would be very unfair to say Scott's the only person that has been in trouble at Keighley.

"Others have been suspended, but I'm not in a position to give you their names or give details of why on the record.

"It's been a succession of issues on and off the field that led Keighley into the position where they got the suspended ban in the first place."

Birkinshaw added: "Nobody at the league likes having to come down hard on teams.

"But if you put something in place, and it doesn't correct a team's behaviour, then unfortunately action has to be taken.

"We have three other clubs in the league with suspended 30-point deductions, but we won't announce who they are, because other teams would then try and goad them into slipping up."