KEIGHLEY Cricket Club are only out of the Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League Division Two relegation zone by the tightest of margins.

They and second-bottom Northowram Fields are both sat on 88 points, but the latter have only won twice, whereas the Lawkholme Laners have three league victories so far.

That is the sole reason for Keighley keeping their heads above water for now, but more disastrous defeats, like the 100-run one they suffered at home to fellow strugglers Hopton Mills on Saturday, could easily see them drop into the bottom tier in a few months’ time.

Yet their afternoon could not have started any better, Ijaz Ahmed taking three early wickets as Mills slid to 12-4.

When Ahmed took his fourth wicket, the visitors were still in trouble at 95-6, but a level-headed 81 not out from No.3 Chris Scott allowed others to produce fireworks down the order.

That enabled Hopton to reach a defendable total of 234-9, Dillion Birkett taking 2-50 from his 15 overs, and they soon got to work on hapless Keighley when it was their turn to bowl.

A poor start left the hosts on 27-4, and though Nathan Storton (38) and Ryan Ridehalgh (29) led a mini-recovery, they got nowhere near chasing their target down, and were dismissed for 134.

And Keighley’s weekend got no better yesterday, as they bowed out of the Rigg Bash T20 competition in the pool stages.

Having not won either of their opening two games of the tournament, the Lawkholme Laners needed to be victorious in both of their Sunday matches to have any chance of going through.

But they bowed out with a game to spare, losing by 43 runs to Heckmondwike & Carlinghow in the 1pm fixture.

When Johandre Barnard effected a run out to add to his two earlier wickets, Heckmondwike were floundering on 111-7, but an unbroken eighth-wicket partnership of 41 allowed them to reach 152.

In another hapless chase, Storton (28) again top scored as his side were bowled out for 109.

Keighley did exit the tournament on a high at least, winning a rain-reduced 4pm game against Crossflatts.

Flatts posted 135-4 from their 14 overs, Barnard again taking two scalps, before Storton took charge once more, blasting a rapid 53 in the reply as Keighley won by six wickets with three balls to spare.