RimINGTON moved to within three points of the leaders with this win which showed their best and worst traits.
The first half belonged to the home side as they played some excellent football and really should have been more than 2-0 up at half-time.
The visitors, playing with three centre backs, were content to sit back and allow Rimington to keep the ball, with a view to hitting on the break, but once they went behind they had to re-think that tactic.
Rimington took the lead on 21 minutes when O’Neill picked up the ball in midfield and slipped it to Sargeson in behind the full back, and his precise cross found the evergreen Penman who made no mistake from eight yards.
It wasn’t long before Walsh grabbed his 10th of the season with a left foot strike following a corner.
The visitors thought they were going to pull one back just before the interval but Kershaw made a marvellous point-blank save.
In the second half, Burnley came out with determination and deservedly made it 2-1 in just five minutes with a close range header.
Rimington had their talismanic keeper to thank for keeping them in front, pulling off three great saves as the visitors ran the home side a little ragged.
The champions got their game together though, as one would expect, and eventually O’Neill sent Penman away down the left to cross to McLean who made it 3-1.
Rimington were now in the ascendancy and McLean increased the lead following another flowing move with a fine finish, but the strike of the game followed as the ball bounced in front of Penman, who unleashed a left foot volley from 30 yards which left the keeper helpless.
It was fitting that McLean should claim his hat-trick with another assured strike, a welcome return to goal-scoring form in the absence of Lloyd.
To their credit, Burnley pushed players forward and grabbed two late goals, much to the annoyance of Kershaw.
Terry Braithwaite was happy with the points: “Once we went 6-1 up I thought we may push on and score a couple more, but credit them for the character they showed.”
Saturday sees a trip to Read in the Presidents Cup.