Old Rishworthians were workmanlike 28-20 home winners over Ripon yesterday but the lack of a four-try bonus point meant they remain eighth in Yorkshire Two, one point behind their visitors.
The pitch, under water at Christmas and out of action for some time, is now firm, sandy and good for running rugby.
Ripon won the home meeting 17-10 in October and took the lead yesterday with a Tim Tombling penalty after sustained pressure.
Home fly-half Josh Kelly has improved his kicking recently and from an infringement he made it 3-3 from 40 metres.
The Copley men started winning good line out ball through Harvey Keighley-Payne and centre Matthew Hunt-Brown started to trouble Ripon.
Hunt-Brown made a break and Anthony Shoesmith showed pace to score near the posts to overtake Alex Fearnley’s club try scoring record. The conversion was missed.
Rishworthians needed more ball but after Keighley-Payne was yellow carded the Ripon pack were camped in the Rishworthians 22 for long periods. They eventually drove over for Dom Dalby to score a converted try to make it 8-10.
A Kelly penalty followed a good passage of play by the home side and just before half time Shoesmith’s fine break enabled Kelly to score and convert for 18-10.
The visitors used their forwards more and from the illegal wheel of a scrum Tombling pulled back three points.
Player Coach Chris Stone had felt unwell before the match and Chris Fox replaced him.
A further penalty by Kelly for offside made it 21-13 but sustained pressure on the home line and a yellow card for Fox led to a Ripon penalty try which was converted to it 21-20.
Gez Rollings started running with the ball and he sent Shoesmith dashing away, only to be tackled five metres from the Ripon line.
Eventually James Clarke saw a gap and scored, Kelly converting to complete an 18-point tally and seal victory.
Rishworthians host Yarnbury in the second round of the Yorkshire Shield next Saturday.