WHEATLEY Hills needed a late try to salvage a 15-15 North East One draw against visiting Sheffield.
But with Middlesbrough losing 18-13 at Morpeth the Doncaster side end the year just one point off second spot.
Again badly depleted in the forwards, Wheatley trailed 9-0 at the break - the visitors having kicked two penalties and landed a drop goal.
The closest that Wheatley had come to scoring was when full-back Johnny Woodcock hit the woodwork with a long-range penalty at 6-0.
Woodcock fared better with a penalty attempt on 47 minutes. Centre Mickey Hayward then raced in from over 30 metres out on 52 minutes to close the gap to just one point,
Sheffield, who had a let-off when scrum-half Ian Barker was brought back for a knock-on with a clear run to the line, hit back with penalties on 60 and 75 minutes.
Wheatley finished strongly and Luke Taplin went over and replacement fly-half Jack Craswell held his nerve to tag on the conversion.
Doncaster Phoenix suffered a 28-13 Yorkshire League Two derby defeat at high-flying Wath. The Castle Park club grabbed an early 3-0 lead with a penalty by full-back Owen Denovan, but Wath hit back to take a half-time lead with a brace of tries.
Fly-half Tom Elliott and second-rower Sam Canning-Birtles shared the Phoenix consolation tries.
Thornensians gave their supporters an early Christmas present with a 42-8 Division Three win over bottom club Old Modernians at Coulman Road.
Rossington Hornets remain rooted to the bottom of Division Five after crashing to their 11th consecutive defeat against mid-table Sheffield Oaks, who romped to a 66-0 win.