Doncaster Phoenix are on course to join Wheatley Hills in North One East next season as they go into the Christmas break with an eight-point cushion at the top of Yorkshire One.
But it was a close call for Phoenix as they rounded off the first half of their campaign with a slender 27-25 win over Middlesbrough at Castle Park.
Middlesbrough, who are in third place, scored the first try after just four minutes and Phoenix turned round 20-8 adrift after stand-off Ben Millar had pulled back a penalty goal and No 8 Ryan Peacey raced over for the home side’s first try on 35 minutes.
But Phoenix were quick off the mark in the second half, closing the gap with a try by flanker Adam Kettle which Millar converted to bring the score back to 20-15.
Middlesbrough scored again but Phoenix closed to five points again when Peacey touched down for his second try.
With the score at 25-20 in Middlesbrough’s favour, Phoenix drew level – and secured a four-try bonus point – when full back Craig Deakin sprinted over in the last play of the game.
Millar’s conversion swung the result.
Wheatley Hills’ scheduled match at Northern was postponed because of a frozen pitch and will now be replayed on January 24.
In another Yorkshire One match, Wath on Dearne salvaged a 10-10 draw in their home clash against higher placed Scarborough.
Wath looked set to score an upset when they went ahead with a try by Matt Burrows after just five minutes.
There was no further score for half an hour, and Wath went 10-0 up when 17-year-old winger Ben Cairns raced in for a debut try.
But both were out on the wing and Anthony Barratt and Sam Jones were wide with their conversion attempts.
Scarborough scored from a maul just before half time, and they levelled five minutes after the restart.
Wath should have capitalised when Scarborough had a back row player sent off with 35 minutes remaining.
But they only had a one-man advantage for ten minutes as they themselves had three players yellow carded in succession.
Thornensians salvaged a losing bonus point but dropped to fourth place in Yorkshire Three when they were edged out 29-24 in their home match against Castleford.
Castleford opened with a penalty but winger Ollie Cox levelled, only for the visitors to move into a 13-3 lead.
A try by centre Stuart Hughes, converted by Cox, brought the score back to 13-10 at half time.
The teams shared five tries in a frantic second half which could have gone either way.
Castleford scored twice, but Thorne levelled the score when their No 8 Rob Moffatt crashed over for two more, both converted by Cox.
Then, with the last move of the match, Castleford secured the winner.
Rossington Hornets beat Hallamshire 14-10 in the Yorkshire Five Cup.