DHSOB have been docked 55 points (30 suspended) for including a player that was still registered with Devonport Services in their league defeat against Old Techs in October.
The Old Boys were unaware that the Fijian, one of a host to join the club in the summer, had previously played for Services and say they had made every effort to follow correct procedures when registering all their new players.
It was only when the player’s picture appeared in a local newspaper that Services made them aware that he was still registered with them.
The Devon Two club insisted there was no intention to gain an advantage or disguise the player and that it was just a genuine error. However, they now find themselves on minus 13 points when they were looking for a top four finish.
Vice-chairman Geoff Simpson said: “We regret the oversight. We had not realised he was registered with another club. But we have to move on and accept the punishment and attempt to insure that it does not happen again.
“Morale is very high at the club and I’m sure that will continue.”
DHSOB are still hoping to win a cup competition this season and could still have a major impact on Devon Two.
This weekend they host promotion-chasing neighbours Old Techs, who they have already played twice this season – once in the league and once in the Lockie Cup – and both matches have been close.