WHEATLEY Hills are closing in on a top three finish in North One East after a 39-30 victory at Durham City.
Wheatley conceded an early penalty goal but were soon in the driving seat as right winger Tom Barker ran in the first of their six tries after 14 minutes.
Mark Sanderson missed the difficult conversion kick from near the touchline but he was on target when No 8 forward Gareth Burns ploughed his way over from a maul six minutes later.
The visitors then went 17-3 in front when they spun the ball out to the wing and, after a kick ahead, flanker Byron Elliott touched down for another try midway through the first half.
Durham then hit back with two tries, one converted, to turn round only two points adrift.
But Wheatley were soon back in control when centre Ryan Guest raced in for a try which Sanderson converted five minutes into the second half.
Again, City replied with a try, but Wheatley restored the margin when Dan Undy touched down.
When Burns went in for his second try Jack Craswell landed the conversion before kicking a penalty with five minutes remaining.
Durham had the final say when winger Chris Metcalfe raced over for a try close to the posts.
Wheatley, who are now level on points with fourth placed Old Brodleians, travel to Morpeth this Saturday.
* More rugby union in Thursday’s Free Press.