A game played in the most atrocious conditions with driving wind, sleet and hail went the way of home side Rossendale as they beat bottom of Regional One North West Sandbach 45-7.

On a very heavy pitch, Rossendale opened the scoring with a try from Joe Burns on the back of early pressure from the home pack, the centre cutting in to dot down near the posts, and Lewis Allen adding the conversion.

A neat grubber through from Allen then opened the Sandbach defence allowing Ben Stephens, playing in the unaccustomed wing position, to win the chase and cross wide out.

Although conditions suited neither side, it was the work of the Rossendale pack which was proving decisive as they dominated play for prolonged periods in the opposition half.

Eventually the pressure told and from a breakdown on the Sandbach ‘22’, ball out along the line created the space for Curtis Strong to go over for their third try.

Again it was from strong play by the pack in the visitors’ ‘22’the opportunity fell for Sam Lowthion to bring up the bonus score and in the final minute another kick through from Allen was picked up by Matt Lamprey for a fifth try, the outside-half’s conversion closing the half with Rossendale 31-0 ahead.

With conditions deteriorating further the second half proved a struggle of stamina for both sides.

But again solid paly by the pack and a break by Ben Stephens down the wing brought up the sixth score with scrum-half Gabriel McGuire coming up in support on the inside to take the scoring pass.

Sandbach, who were out-muscled for most of the match, did get over for a well-deserved try, Harry Hughes claiming the honours, converted by Henry Mitchell.

It was no more than brief respite, though, as a kick through by McGuire was hacked on by Calum Whelan, who picked up to cross close to the posts, both tries converted by Allen.

With just one game remaining in the league, Macclesfield head the table following a bonus 45-10 win at Kendal, and are three points above Rossendale. Macc will complete their season at home to Penrith with Rossendale away to Wirral.

The final games will take place on Saturday, April 6 after the Easter break.