WHEATLEY Hills were made to work hard for their 11th successive North East One win - 24-16 at Malton & Norton.
The home side took an early lead with a penalty by Ali Heard and Wheatley’s attempts to turn pressure into points weren’t helped by the referee allowing their opponents to wheel a couple of five-metre defensive scrums and it took them 35 minutes to level the scores through full-back Johnny Woodcock.
No 8 Gaz Burns forced his way over from a quick tap penalty after the home side had been penalised defending a series of rucks and mauls from a lineout. Woodcock tagged on the conversion to make it 10-3. The referee failed to spot a knock-on from a debatable free-kick from which Ian Cooke touched down to make it 10-8.
The league leaders hit back two minutes later, Burns and scrum-half Ian Barker combining to get Woodcock over for a converted try to make it 17-8.
Barker increased Wheatley’s lead on 59 minutes, dummying his way into space from a ruck and racing over for a third converted try.
The Doncaster side looked set to go on and pick up a bonus win at that stage but it didn’t turn out that way and the only further scoring came from the home side who kicked a 69th minute penalty and scored a second try six minutes later.
Doncaster Phoenix took over top in Yorkshire League Two, their highest ever placing in the league, following their exciting 35-27 win over leaders Selby.
The visitors got off to a flying start with speedy full-back Craig Deakin twice touching down after joining the line. Half-back Dan Storey converted one of the tries to make it 10-0. The North Yorkshire side hit back with a penalty and a long-range converted try.
Phoenix regained the initiative and centre OIy Vigeon crossed from about 15 metres out after some good handling. Storey again added the extras to secure his side a 19-10 interval lead. Storey extended Phoenix’s lead with a penalty only for Selby to close the gap to five points from a move launched from inside their own half.
Storey edged his side into a 25-17 lead only for Selby to hit back with a try and a penalty to lead 27-25 after flanker Joe Horrocks had been sin-binned.
Storey restored Phoenix’s lead to set the scene for player-coach Ryan Peacy’s match-winning try from a catch and drive.
Thornensians lost ground in Division Three after suffering a 24-11 derby defeat at Goole, who climbed into second spot. Danny Gilbert scored their consolation try.
Doncaster Amatuers continue to set the pace at the top of Division Five after beating third-placed Sheffield Oaks 14-9. Rossington Hornets shared the spoils with visiting Wibsey after drawing 5-5.
Doncaster rivals Adwick, for whom No 8 Aston Maw scored a hat-trick, lost 46-29 at home to Rodillians.