LEPTON HIGHLANDERS have been heavily penalised for playing an unregistered player in their final game of the season at Holmfirth.

The Drakes League Executive took an extremely dim view of the club’s action, in what was tantamount to a Flatt Platt Championship promotion decider.

The Executive decided to dock Lepton six points, along with a £20 fine (as per rule) for the season just completed, but have also ruled they will start next season’s campaign with a 12-point deduction and a £100 fine after they blatantly played (and bowled) an unregistered player under a registered player’s name.

"Given the seriousness of the offence, the Executive felt they had to make a statement that situations like this will not be tolerated," said Drakes League chairman Trevor Atkinson.

"As far as we are concerned they brought both their club and the League into disrepute with their actions.

"Clearly it would have been wrong to relegate them from the Championship, while a six-point deduction would have had no effect on their standing in last year’s table.

"However, we felt deducting them further points for the start of 2013 would hurt them more, as they will now start the season with an arrears of minus 12."

Additionally, the Executive have called Lepton’s stand-in captain Mark Dixon to appear before a Disciplinary hearing, as he will be dealt with separately. It is understood that Lepton will be appealing against the decision to the League Council.