Rimington storm into cup semis

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REIGNING Craven Cup champions Rimington stormed in to the last four of the competition courtesy of a Lloyd hat-trick.

It took just three minutes for the holders to take the lead when a perfectly executed free-kick from Dinsdale found Lloyd at the far post who headed back across goal for his strike partner Heslop to glance the ball home.

The East Lancs champions played crisp, possession football to nulify their opponents and should have extended their lead when Hutchinson pierced through the Bentham defence but he failed to apply the finish with only the keeper to beat.

But Lloyd turned from provider to scorer after being brought down inside the area. His spot kick was saved by the keeper but he was first to react and coolly placed the rebound in to the corner to double the hosts advantage.

And just before the interval Rimington made it 3-0 when a wonderful move from the back involving Hutchinson, Wharton and Lloyd down the right resulted in a low cross which was brilliantly finished off by skipper McLean.

In the second half Heslop made way for veteran Penman and the substitute made an instant impression as he latched onto a through ball and despite the combined efforts of the visiting keeper and defender they could not stop him making it 4-0.

Rimington were running riot and a concoction of blocked shots and several outstanding saves from the goalkeeper denied the home side from grabbing their fifth of the game sooner. But eventually Lloyd scored his second of the match, smashing home from eight yards out, before completing his hat-trick when he rose majestically to nod Penman’s flick-on in to the back of the net.

Manager Terry Braithwaite was delighted by his side’s performance and also the fact that they are still on course to achieve what no other side has done before and win the Craven Cup four years in succession. He said: “The lads deserve to make history as they are a fantastic bunch and have great spirit and togetherness, something we will definitely need over the coming months.

“We can now concentrate on the league and Presidents Cup, and we have a tough trip to Canberra on Saturday. I hope to have Nick Curtis and possibly Tom O’Neill back this week so places are at a premium. But they all know that it is a squad that wins trophies and not individuals.”