Bitter Ayr skipper Craig Hunter reckons he is caught between a rock and a hard place in the wake of being found guilty of cheating by SNCL chiefs.

He was banned for one match by a Cricket Scotland disciplinary panel, which deemed him in breach of the rule which covers "attempting to manipulate a result".

Despite the verdict, he maintains his innocence - but says it would be "too much of a gamble" to lodge an appeal against the conviction or punishment.

The long-serving wicketkeeper was held responsible for Ayr failing to complete the 20th over of the encounter with champions Grange at Cambusdoon last month. Umpires Billy McPate and Lindsay Horne abandoned the match just one delivery before Grange would have been declared winners under wet weather regulations.

Following a two-hour hearing at New Anniesland, Hunter stated: "We were the victims of inconsistent umpiring. They suspended play for rain when Grange were bowling - yet they tried to make us bowl in similar, if not worse, conditions.

"Neither I nor any of my players broke any rules, however I will not be appealing the verdict because it could backfire on me."

Grange official Joe Barrett has branded the Scottish Cup "a Mickey Mouse tournament" following his side's surprise midweek defeat by relegation-threatened West of Scotland at Hamilton Crescent.

The tie was reduced to a frantic 18-overs a-side affair after rain wrecked two attempts to decide which team would go through to today's quarter-final against Poloc at Shawholm.

Long-serving scorer and club spokesman Barrett rapped: "The competition has been reduced to joke status. We still have two months of the season to run, yet the SNCL are insisting on cramming the event into as short a timescale as possible. It is the most important knock-out tournament in the country, but as far as we are concerned it has been devalued."

Meanwhile, the controversial new points system in the SNCL has been granted a stay of execution - but only until the end of the season.

Clubs have voted not to revert to the former method calculated on percentages and not bonus points, but only because of the timing of the poll. Clubs voted 23-9 to complete the season before considering any alteration.