WHEATLEY Hills maintained their early season North East One promotion challenge with a 34-20 win at Gateshead.
The Doncaster side were always in command with 12 of Gateshead’s points coming in stoppage time.
Guy Townsley, who switched to centre on his return to the side, kicked the South Yorkshire side into a 3-0 lead on 15 minutes.
Former Dons and Sheffield Eagles forward Tom Bucenham, playing out of position at prop, made a break from a maul about 15 metres out to score near enough for Townsley to add the extras.
The home side hit back to score an unconverted 22nd minute try - the referee failing to spot the fact that Byron Elliott was obstructed as he was about to make a tackle.
No 8 Gaz Burns capitalised on a good drive by the forwards to claim a 35th minute try. Townsley again added the extras.
Gateshead pulled it back to 17-8 with a penalty before second-rower Dan Undy raced in from about 30 metres out to score in the corner on the stroke of half-time.
Burns scored his second try of the game on the hour when he picked the ball up from the back of the scrum under the Gateshead posts and drove over. Townsley’s conversion made it 29-8.
Elliott completed Wheatley’s tally a couple of minutes from normal time when driving over from a maul close to the line.
Doncaster Phoenix, who are playing their home matches on Doncaster Knights’ pitch this season when the Championship club are away from home, beat Moortown 27-8 their Yorkshire League Two encounter to climb above them in the table.
Full-back Johnny Stuart, who took over kicking duties from Ben Millar - one of three regulars missing - edged Phoenix into an early 3-0 lead, subsequently cancelled out by the Leeds-based visitors.
Summer signing Owen Denovan scored the first of Phoenix’s four first half tries after fly-half Tim Elliott had broken the line with a blind-side run. Stuart added the extras to make it 15-3.
Flanker Dan Fielding was on hand to capitalise on a sniping run to within sight of the line by scrum-half Joe Watts.
Centre Adam Burton broke the line about 35 metres out and then went on to wrong-foot the full-back to score.
Elliott scored his side’s bonus try after also breaking clear. Stuart’s conversion secured his side a commanding 27-3 interval lead.
Moortown scored their only try in the opening stages of a more even second half during which Phoenix prop Adam Tamanis was sin-binned.
Thornensians shared the spoils in a 23-23 Division Three draw at Hessle.
Wheatley’s second string suffered a 25-23 defeat at home to Sheffield Medics in their Yorkshire (South) 2nd XV League Division Two clash.
Wheatley Hills newly-formed third string, who romped to a huge win in their opening game of the season, missed out on the action on Saturday after failing to pick up a game in the fixture pool.