CAPTAIN Tim Oakes has hailed the first Sandbach team to ever take a point from the Isle of Man.
The Bradwall Road outfit have always returned from Vagabonds with their tails between their legs in the past, but a determined display earned an 8-8 draw at the weekend.
In a game of two halves, the visitors were on top from the outset. Andy Rollings kicked a penalty after good pressure, before excellent team play forced a ruck by the Vagabonds posts.
The ball was worked out nicely to Lee Pickles and he dived over in the left corner.
Vagabonds hit back on the stroke of half-time, when they drove over for a try after a rolling maul in the Sandbach 22, but it went unconverted.
The tide turned in the second half, with the home side applying the pressure. Sandbach defended stoutly and limited Vagabonds to two penalties. One was kicked while the other hit the post. Rollings saw a penalty of his own come back off the woodwork.
Oakes admitted: 'I think it was a fair result, but it is nice to be part of the first Sandbach team to get anything in the Isle of Man.'
He added: 'Before Christmas we had aspirations of a top-four finish, but we were on the wrong end of a few close scorelines after the festive break which set us back.
'We have to play the top three in our final four games so it is a tough run-in, but we are starting to put our training into practice now and are slowly improving.'
Sandbach 2nds saw their home clash with Preston Grasshoppers postponed, while the 3rds won 37-5 at Eccles. The 4ths lost 17-0 at Trafford MV 3rds.
Meanwhile, Crewe and Nantwich's clash with Ashtonon-Mersey was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.