Champions Rimington move top of the table

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THREE games in five days propelled current East Lancashire League champions Rimington to the top of the table - but they had to settle for a replay in the Craven Cup semi-final after an exciting 3-3 draw with Rolls.

On a rain-soaked Rolls pitch, the home side started well and took an early lead when a cross from the right found Fran Powell, and he made no mistake with his header.

But the visitors were soon level as Robert Lloyd was sent clear, only to be brought down by the keeper, and he made no mistake from the resulting penalty.

Rolls adapted to the conditions much better than their opponents, and regained the lead when a speculative shot squirmed out of Kershaw’s grasp and over the line.

However, fine work by O’Neill lead to Fagan having time and space to pick his spot from just outside the area to level matters just before half-time.

The visitors upped the tempo in the second half and took the lead for the first time in the match when Dinsdale fired home from close range.

Lloyd and Sargeson were causing problems for the home defence, but the keeper pulled off a string of saves to keep his side in the tie.

Dinsdale and McCarthy had great chances to finish the match off but failed to do so and, to their credit, Rolls pressed forward and grabbed the equaliser with just five minutes left with an excellent diving header, to force a replay.

Bentham await the winners in the final.

Two home league fixtures resulted in six invaluable points against stiff opposition for the villagers.

Firstly they beat an excellent Worsthorne side thanks to a penalty in each half from Lloyd.

The first came with the first real attack as O’Neill was released, only to be upended in the box.

The visitors played some great passing football, but failed to trouble Kershaw as the home defence stood firm.

Sargeson and Tootle had excellent chances to extend the lead but could not add to the scoreline up to half-time.

In the second half, and Sargeson beat three defenders only to be brutally felled in the box, and Lloyd coolly made it 2-0.

Worsthorne continued to pass the ball around and eventually created a clear-cut opening for the striker to fire past Kershaw from eight yards, and the big keeper had to be at his best to keep out strikes from distance as the visitors pushed for an equaliser.

The score remained 2-1 as Rimington moved level with Langho and Enfield, and it was the latter who visited on Saturday, knowing that they had to beat the champions to maintain any hope of winning the title.

But they found the home side in determined mood, three first half goals settling the result before a fourth in the second half put it beyond doubt.

Rimington got off to a flyer and ran the visitors ragged and it wasn’t long before an O’Neill corner was met by Lloyd to open the scoring.

They had two good shouts for penalties turned down before Lloyd made it 2-0.

Rimington played some great football and a fine flowing move resulted in Tootle cutting back onto his left foot to fire into the bottom corner for their third.

Dinsdale saw his goal-bound volley strike a defender on the back of head and Sargeson had a fierce drive which just flew over the bar.

Enfield began the second half determined to get back into the game, but McCarthy and Dyson were dominant at the back and Kershaw dealt with what they threw at him.

The fourth goal was something of a fluke as O’Neill fired in a shot which was going wide until Sargeson diverted it into the net.

Enfield looked as though they may pull one back but McCarthy made an unbelievable block tackle to maintain the clean sheet.

• READSTONE United Under 10s Yellow beat Briercliffe 3-1 to continue their push up the table.

The goalscorers were Harry Burrows, Ben Dinning and man of the match James Bridge.

United’s Under 11s Yellow are a win away from the title after a 4-1 victory over Barnoldswick Town Whites.

The goalscorers were Morgan Crowther with a penalty, Luke Spencer his first goal for Readstone, Owen Webster and star man Lee Wild.

• WHALLEY Juniors beat Blue Star Colts 4-2.

Whalley scored within the first minute through Charlie Owen, before Sam Jones doubled their lead.

A great individual goal from Mckenzie Strong made it 3-0, before Blue Star pulled two goals back.

Star man Owen added his second to seal the win.

• WILPSHIRE Wanderers Red are looking for players to play next season at Under 11 level.

They are holding open trials at their training ground over the next four weeks, with players of mixed ability welcome, within the age guidelines.

Contact manager Simon Blackley (07808897525) for more details.