RELEGATION-THREATENED Cross Keys have launched an appeal for public donations for £20,000 to help them finish the Principality Premiership season.

The Pandy Park club look doomed to the drop from the top flight, which is being cut from 16 team to 12 next season.

And it isn’t just on the field that the 2012 WRU National Cup winners are struggling.

The Keys management committee have launched an appeal to help them fulfil their remaining fixtures this season by raising £20,000.

Keys, who the likes of Taulupe Faletau, Lloyd Burns, Leon Brown and Jason Tovey have played for in recent years, endured a summer of change last year in which a raft of players left, forcing head coach Morgan Stoddart to put together an almost entirely new team.

Wins at the start of the campaign gave hope but that has since evaporated, and they currently sit third from bottom and 14 points from safety with just five fixtures remaining after a run of seven successive defeats.

Campaign Series: HAPPIER TIMES: Cross Keys won the WRU National Cup in 2012HAPPIER TIMES: Cross Keys won the WRU National Cup in 2012

“Postponed games saw Keys have only two home games in the period of February and May, a situation no business can expect to survive with,” says the appeal.

“The addition of only one rearranged home game will help but a likeliness of a midweek game will put a dent into the expected revenue raised.

“The club has also lost some very experienced club stalwarts to retirement, people who have made our club run smoothly for 30 years.

“We have also been saddened with the loss of some special people who have backed us financially; their support over the past 20 years, as sponsors and great friends of the club, has been amazing and we are hugely appreciative of all of them and everything they have done for us.

“All donations will be used to ensure that Cross Keys RFC not only finishes the current season but will continue to thrive into the future.

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“The donations received will be used to meet the operational running costs of the club.

“Our current league position is very disappointing for everyone, but with some internal restructuring and better planning, we will be stronger and better prepared for next season.

“This has been a very tough period for us all, we don’t know where we will be next season but we need your help and support to ensure there is rugby played at Pandy Park for years to come.”

Keys travel to Llandovery this weekend and also have home encounters with RGC and Pontypridd and trips to Newport and Bridgend to play.

They are far from the only Premiership club to be feeling the pinch this season.

Bottom club Neath had a winter crisis over the ownership of the club, in February Pontypridd were also forced to ask for donations because of a funding shortfall and a number of others are having cashflow issues.

Donations to Keys can be made at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cross-keys-rfc