WHEATLEY Hills got back to winning ways in North East One, after back-to-back defeats, with a scrappy 22-3 win over lowly Durham at Brunel Road.
The Doncaster club remain second but their failure to pick up a bonus point after only scoring three tries, leaves them 10 points adrift of leaders Beverley.
Wheatley, who had what they felt was a perfectly good try by Dan Undy disallowed by the badly positioned referee, went close on several other occasions but still turned around 3-0 down at the break.
Debutant winger Joe Mulhearn put Wheatley into the lead three minutes after the break after the ball had been moved down the line. Full-back Johnny Woodcock added the extras and also landed a 51st minute penalty to make it 10-3. Leading try-scorer Gaz Burns extended Wheatley’s lead five minutes later after a pick-up-and-drive from close range.
Woodcock joined the line and elected to try and go for the line himself after dummying his way into space. He was held up just short but was driven over by the pack.
Doncaster Phoenix will end 2012 top of Yorkshire League Two after posting their biggest win of the season (50-3) against West Park Leeds at Castle Park.
It looked like being a lot closer in the first quarter and they had to settle for a penalty by half-back Dan Storey.
They had to wait until the 25th minute to score their first try, centre Olly Vigeon going over wide out in the 25th minute after the ball had been moved down the line from a lineout. Player-coach Ryan Peacy added to Phoenix’s lead with a catch and drive from a five-metre lineout.
The home side got well on top in the second half with winger Dan Greenslade going over for the first of his brace. Full-back Craig Deakin touched down for Phoenix’s bonus try after linking up in the line.
Centre Andy Ellis was the next to score after Sam Canning-Birtles had made the initial break deep in his own half. The forward then touched down himself before Greenslade went in for the game’s last try.
Thornensians, who conceded four kickable penalties to trail 12-0 at the break, dropped out of the top-four in Division Three after going down 18-10 at home to promotion rivals Baildon at Coulman Road. Fly-half Mike Bennett kicked a second half penalty and also converted a penalty try.