Old Rishworthians 22 Leeds Medics and Dentists 12
Rishworthians ground out another victory against a side which has given them the toughest games of their Yorkshire Three campaign.
And as none of their nearest challengers managed to gain bonus points, it left them still 15 points clear at the top of the table.
The Leeds students were quick and skilful and gave the league leaders a real fright, scoring a try after only 38 seconds as centre Sean Duffy ran through a host of flailing home tacklers to touch down a converted try.
Rishworthians were not able to get their expansive game going and then seemed reluctant to pass the ball out, too often kicking possession away.
In the end they had to rely on their forwards to pull them through with No 8 James Clarke scoring twice and almost adding a third.
But the forwards did not have it their own way. The lineouts were not consistent and too many mistakes were made at scrums, both at the base and in the front, where three were conceded against the head.
The Leeds side had proved difficult to handle on their own ground early in the season and once again proved a tough nut to crack for the home men.
After the initial shock try, Rishworthians fought back and, despite a number of mistakes, kept the pressure on the visitors and eventually levelled.
They kept the ball in the forwards and lock Harry Collett almost got over before the ball was flipped up to Clarke to force his way across the line. Fullback Aaron Canning added the conversion.
They maintained the pressure from the restart and threatened to go over several times, but mistakes in the last phase of play began to become frustrating.
Having been camped on the visitors’ line, Clarke eventually charged down a clearance kick and while he was unable to make the score, left wing Chris Flanagan nipped in to get the touchdown.
Canning added the conversion and just before the break kicked a penalty to give Rishworthians a 17 – 7 lead.
Not long after the restart the visitors caught the Copley men napping with a free catch at the rear of a lineout to go over for a simple try.
The home side lacked cohesion as they struggled to get the crucial score. The forwards battled on and both Clarke and replacement lock Jioti Bakoso were stopped just short.
As time ran out flanker Chris Dyson, who had a fine game, stole the ball at the back of a lineout and set up the ruck for Clarke to pick up and crash over for the final score.