AMID swirling wind and driving hail, Sandbach thirds powered their way into the semi-final of the Halbro Plate with a 10-5 win over Heaton Moor seconds.
The side welcomed back Richard Astles and Rob Leese after lengthy absences.
They were met by atrocious weather conditions, but Sandbach won the toss and elected to play with the wind behind them.
Aiming to get a big lead to take into the second half, the home side soon found thatplayingwiththe wind was no real advantage.
Full-back Chris Watson missed two penalties and fly-half Mark Read was unsuccessful with a drop-goal attempt due to the powerful gusts.
A crunching tackle by Carey Prout, just as Heaton's winger was about to score, kept the scores level as the Brad-wall Road team began to wonder if they would take any sort of superiority into the interval.
It came just in time. After winning a rucked ball, Read passed to Tim Oakes who found winger Dan Adams.
He cut inside and popped the ball back to Oakes who crashed over the line for a try.
Watson missed the conversion.
The visitors took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half and piled on the pressure.
But Sandbach took advantage of their sloppy attacking play to extend their lead.
The influential Read took an interception and outpaced the opposition only to be tackled on Heaton Moor's five-metre line.
The ball was quickly recycled and passed to Dan Adams who scored in the corner.
The score stayed at 10-0 as Watson's conversion was beaten away by the wind again.
Heaton rallied and moved the ball back up the pitch, and after a well-worked back move they scored in the corner for an unconverted try.
Rejuvenated, they tried everything to level the match, but the strong tackling of Leese and Astles kept them at bay.
The draw has yet to be made for the semi-final, which will be played on March 19.
Next week Sandbach thirds return to league action against Holmes Chapel seconds at Bradwall Road.
The Sandbach fifths clash at Linley was cancelled due to bad weather, as were all the junior matches over the weekend.