PHOTOS: ‘Finest hour’ as Rimington FC triumph in West Riding County FA Challenge Cup

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Elland Road was a sea of orange and black on Friday night as Rimington won the West Riding County FA Challenge Cup with two goals from Robert Lloyd.

In front of an official attendance of 615 - 513 of which were from Rimington - the villagers beat Huddersfield side Bay Athletic 2-1 at the home of Leeds United to claim the trophy for the first time.

Rimington FC celebrate winning the West Riding County FA Challenge Cup Final against Bay Athletic AFC.

Rimington FC celebrate winning the West Riding County FA Challenge Cup Final against Bay Athletic AFC.

The five-time East Lancashire League champions and eight-time Craven Cup holders added another accolade, and manager Terry Braithwaite admitted it was the club’s finest hour of their 42-year history.

Braithwaite, a boyhood Leeds supporter, said: “It was the cherry on the cake after all our success - no-one has won the East Lancashire League as many times, and we’ve won eight Craven Cups, including seven of the last 11.

“It was a fantastic experience, and our following was superb - we outnumbered Bay Athletic five to one.

“Everyone seemed to have an orange and black rosette or a scarf. Maybe we should start marketing them!

“But the noise was amazing, everyone was there to have a good time.

“People talk about supporters being the extra man, and they were certainly that.

“We might never play there again, and we made the most of it!”

Manager since 1999, the former Clitheroe full back couldn’t have been prouder to lead his players out at the famous old ground: “It was a bit surreal to go into the dressing rooms where all the players I used to love watching all occupied.

“We got there and had a walk about, taking pictures of the ground while it was empty.

“But during the game we couldn’t shout intructions at the players as they couldn’t hear us because of the noise - imagine it with 37,000 in there!”

Last week he hailed the spirit of the side in getting to the final - beating three sides from the West Riding County Amateur Premier Division - four now with Bay Athetic.

He said: “ We’re like a family, we’ve been together for so long.”

And he was thrilled for the entire club: “We do everything as a team, from the committee, myself and Jon Penman, my assistant, to the players.

“It is all a team effort, and this is as good as it gets, it was an incredible night.”

But Braithwaite won’t be stepping down at the top: “I was asked if I would be carrying on, it’s been 14 years, but I’ve go no real desire to stop doing it.

“What else would I do, go shopping with the missus?

“It’s a hectic time at the moment, with more games, and I still play cricket and coach the youngsters at Ribblesdale Wanderers, so sport takes up my entire weekends.

“But it’s what I love and my family support me in that.

“They’ve been brilliant, as have all the committee at the club, Jon, who’s been a big help to me - everyone is in it together.”