WHEATLEY Hills dropped a place to third in North East One following their 16-10 defeat at Malton & Norton.
Again lacking outstanding back-rower Byron Elliott among others, the Doncaster club fielded three hookers in their pack.
Regular first-team hooker Mark Cahill packed down at prop with Sam Kerry also playing out of position in the back-row
There was little between the two teams in the opening quarter and the only scoring was a 15th minute Malton & Norton penalty.
Wheatley gradually came into the game, in a half where both sides squandered scoring chances, and grabbed a 7-3 interval lead with a converted try just before the break.
They elected to kick for touch rather than go for goal from a penalty and drove over from the resulting line-out - Cahill getting the touchdown in the corner,
Full-back Johnny Woodcock added the extras from the touchline.
The former Doncaster and Sheffield Eagles’ star also hit the target with a penalty two minutes after the restart.
The home side drew level three minutes later with a converted try after punishing a missed tackle in the Wheatley 22.
They then opened up a six-point lead with penalties on 54 and 62 minutes.
Wheatley, who missed a couple of long-range penalties, finished strongly and had the chance to win the game late on when Woodcock joined the line.
But instead of using winger Tom Barker on his outside, Woodcock elected to try and score himself only to lose the ball in a good tackle by his opposite number. Middlesbrough took over second spot after beating long-time leaders Billingham.
Doncaster Phoenix kicked off the second half of their Yorkshire League Two campaign with a 35-20 win over Skipton in their return at Castle Park.
Phoenix, who had previously won at Skipton earlier in the season, took an early 3-0 lead courtesy of the boot of Jonno Storey.
The visitors hit back to lead 7-3 with a converted try from a kick through.
Phoenix posted two converted tries in quick succession to lead 17-7.
Flanker Dan Morris grabbed the first following a catch-and-drive move with No 8 Nick Byrne picking the ball up from the back of a five-metre scrum and driving over.
Storey stretched Doncaster’s lead with a penalty - a score cancelled out just before the break after centre Dan Greenslade had been penalised for killing the ball.
No sooner had Greenslade returned to the fray than fellow centre Andy Ellis replaced him in the sin-bin.
Fortunately for Phoenix, the visitors - who had put 50 points past them in the corresponding fixture late last season - kept the ball tight and didn’t capitalise on their extra man out wide.
The Doncaster side pulled away once back up to full strength and ran in three unconverted tries in the final quarter.
Long-serving prop Mike Liddle drove over from close range for a rare touchdown. Byrne notched a second after Richard Greaves had twice kicked on.
Phoenix saved their best until last with full-back Owen Denovan rounding off a slick backs’ move.
Wheatley Hills second team beat Sheffield thirds 24-11 in their Yorkshire (South) One clash,
Full-back Sam Langley, centre Dan Guest, No 8 Andy Hill and winger Gavin Murray shared out the tries with fly-half Jack Craswell landing two conversions,