WHEATLEY Hills moved level on points with North One East leaders Billingham after notching a 34-20 win at Gateshead.
The visitors edged in front with a fourth minute penalty goal from Guy Townsley, and he had no trouble converting when prop Tom Buckenham crashed over between the posts for their first try on 15 minutes.
Gateshead, last season’s Durham and Northumberland champions, then pulled back a try through Martyn Heelbeck.
But Wheatley stayed in charge when Gareth Burns raced over, again under the posts, and Townsley converted.
Then, as half time approached, second row forward Dan Undy ran 40 yards to score.
There was no further score until midway through the second half when Burns went over from a five-metre scrum for his second try, Townsley adding the points, and on 75 minutes winger Tom Barker ran 50 yards to put flanker Byron Elliott over.
That gave Wheatley a 34-8 lead before Gateshead scored two tries in added time, both by centre Andrew Grey.