NESTLE Rowntree RUFC got back to winning ways in Yorkshire Northern Merit League One as a strong first-half performance set them on course for a 34-7 victory at Wetherby 2nds.

Trees recovered from last week's loss at second-placed Moortown 3rds to go 18 points clear at the summit, although they have contested three games more than their nearest league rivals.

The visitors played the first period up the slight slope but quickly got to dominating the set-pieces, and prop Ben Morrison crashed over after five minutes to open the scoring.

It was number eight Ian Henderson's turn to cross next, but the conversion was missed in the swirling wind.

The backs got in on the act when centre Dave Straker made a strong run to score, with Dave Harder converting, before another surge from the forwards saw hooker Jack Gabbatiss twist out of a tackle to score for their bonus-point try before the break.

Trees dominated play in the second period and the forwards were doing well until the ruck and mauls came into play. From one, Wetherby had their only attack of the half and scored a converted try after 25 minutes.

The visitors went on the attack again and worked the ball to the backs, allowing Straker to provide the power to race in for two late tries, completing his hat-trick. Gabbatiss converted the last one from the touchline to seal the victory.

Trees are without a fixture this coming weekend before returning to league action at mid-table Selby 3rds the following Saturday.