SANDBACH paid the penalty for hitting the woodwork twice in a hard-fought game at promotion-chasing Wilmslow on Saturday.
Unlucky Andy Rollings hit the post in either half from penalty attempts, narrowly missing out on vital points which would have secured a win.
Sandbach played against the elements in the first half but dominated play. Wave after wave of pressure came and went but the home side stood firm and shocked their opponents with two quick tries before the break, one of which was converted.
Rollings did manage a penalty and Colin Wyatt broke through to crash over a try, converted by Rollings, with two minutes left. But time ran out as the visitors tried to mount another attack.
Skipper Ray Jones said: 'We played very well in the first half and were very unlucky to go in behind.
But we failed to take advantage of having the wind at our backs in the second and we ran out of time eventually.' nSandbach thirds hammered Wilmslow 60-8. After falling behind to an early converted try by the young Wilmslow side, the Bradwall Road men ran riot.
The points were gathered by Martyn Hurlstone Johnson, Martin Beecher, Andy Pipe, Chris Greenhalgh, Richard Pickford, Rob Leese, Mike Huss and Richard Astles.
The experience of Manchester Vets proved too much for Sandbach fourths as they went down 35-10. Rick Jones set up his brother Ed for the first try while a solo effort by Andy Lee got the second.
Sandbach seconds couldn't raise a team to send to Preston Grasshoppers and forfeited the points.