DEVIZES chairman Victoria Smith believes her club have no choice but to grin and bear their punishment after their two men’s sides were handed a five-point deduction by the Davis Wood Hockey League.

Devizes folded their first XI in the summer after failing to win a game in Premier Division One last season and were ordered to identify first team players who would not be representing the club in the forthcoming campaign.

But when veteran Roger Edwards reversed his decision to retire, the club registered him for their new first team (formerly Devizes A) in the Central Two division.

Edwards featured in the 4-1 win over West Wilts A on September 29, but both men’s sides have now been hit with the penalty.

Smith said: “We gave a list of 19 players to the league in good faith that they’d all not be playing again.

“But when Roger decided he did want to play this season, we informed our Area Secretary, which is what we were told to do.

“We could have appealed against giving over a list back then but we didn’t see any reason to and when Roger wanted to play, we didn’t want to say no – amateur sport is about inclusion.

“The rule was to stop us saying that we were pulling a team out and then playing all of those first team players in a lower league but we’ve only had one stay with us, not all 19.

“It seems really harsh but it costs money to launch an appeal and we want to have Roger playing for us so we’ll have to take it. It doesn’t really seem like common sense after the summer of sport that we’ve had.”

The league confirmed that Devizes’ two teams had been deducted five points each for playing an “an ineligible player’’ on September 29 under their rules.