UNBEATEN leaders Wheatley Hills continue to set the pace at the top of North One East, but they were made to work hard for their 18-14 win at Morpeth.
The Doncaster side, who had to make several changes to their threequarters due to both regular centres Ben Millar and Ryan Guest being out, took an early lead with a penalty by Johnny Woodcock.
The home side drew level on 16 minutes, but Wheatley regained the lead on 23 minutes with a pick-up and drive by No 8 Gaz Burns from a five-metre scrum.
Going into the game on the back of a four-match unbeaten run, Morpeth cut the interval deficit to two points with a second penalty just before the break.
Replacement flanker Ryan Craswell celebrated his return to first-team rugby after a dislocated shoulder with a 56th minute try.
Morpeth came back with a third penalty only for Ryan’s younger brother Jack to round off a good move by cutting past the Morpeth winger to make it 18-9 with five minutes to go. The home side had the final word with a late unconverted try.
Doncaster Phoenix climbed into second place in Yorkshire League Two after snatching a last-gasp 23-20 win at Ripon.
Ripon drew first blood with a try out wide before former player-coach Dan Storey, playing his second game following major knee surgery, opened the Castle Park club’s account with a penalty.
Current player-coach, No 8 Ryan Peacey, put his side in front following a catch-and-drive from a lineout.
Storey added the extras for Phoenix, who failed to capitalise on their edge in the forwards, to make it 10-5.
The North Yorkshire side pegged three points back before the break with a penalty.
Storey extended Doncaster’s lead with a second half penalty and he also hit the target after Ripon had scored a second try to make it 20-16 with a minute left to play.
Both sides piled players into a ruck close to the Ripon line with Dan Greenslade capitalising on an overlap to send flanker Joe Horrocks for the winning score at the death.
High-flying Thornensians went down 31-20 away to Division Three top-four rivals Old Modernians.
The five points the Leeds-based club picked up saw them climb above Thorne, who dropped down to fifth
Newcomers Doncaster Amateurs maintained their Yorkshire Five title challenge with a 53-11 victory over Stocksbridge at Castle Park.
Winger Oli Prescott scored twice with second row Paul Steadman, prop Dan Riley, back-row Will Duckett, prop Alex Keeton, centres Simon Honey and Jason Arnold and second-row Frazer Botham also touching down.
Mark Steadman kicked three conversions and his brother Tom one.
Adwick suffered a 32-11 defeat at home to Wensleydale.