FRINTON Cricket Club have plummeted to second from bottom in Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division one after being docked 36 points.

The coastal club are alleged to have fielded an ineligible player in their match against Maldon on July 1.

Australian Blake Reed was deemed to be in breach of Home Office Pathway Rules, having played for Western Australia Under-19s.

Frinton appealed the decision but the appeal found that as Reed had previously featured on an Australian website offering cricket coaching, he was a professional and ineligible to play.

It means Frinton, who host Mistley on Saturday, have dropped to second-to-bottom in division one while Maldon, who head to Witham, have been awarded an extra 20 points.

"We're disappointed but have to accept the decision," said Frinton committee member Chris Armstrong.

"We live to fight another day and although we're now in a relegation scrap, we believe we've got enough talent in our squad to get out of trouble.

"We back ourselves to start climbing back up the table."