The Dragons, who finished their regular season with an away win at Worthing Thunder, two weeks ago, could only sit and watch last weekend, in the hope that other results would go in their favour. However, a win for Team Northumbria over their local rivals, Tees Valley Mohawks, finally cemented Bradford’s place in the end of season tournament. With Worthing also winning their final game, at Newham NASSA Neptunes, the Dragons were forced to take eighth place in the league table and therefore a visit to the divisional champions in this weekend’s quarter finals.
The Dragons have been beaten in both league fixtures against the Leopards this season, going down 63-61 in a close fought contest in Essex and then losing out 63-75 in the home fixture last month. However, the Dragons form has significantly improved towards the back end of the season and they will be confident that they can pull off a shock result this weekend.
The game takes place at the Brentwood Centre in Essex on Sunday afternoon, tip off at 4pm.
Meanwhile, the Dragons under 16’s, who finished fourth in their North Premier Division, travel to undefeated Northern Conference winners, Newcastle Eagles, on Saturday for their playoff second round match (Tip off 12:30pm).
Junior coach, Dan Tordoff, is proud of his team’s efforts this season, stating, “This is the first junior Dragons team to represent the club at Premier level. It has been a great achievement to finish fourth in the league, beating some strong teams along the way. Saturday’s game will be tough, as although Newcastle have played in a lower division, they have been extremely impressive and have gone the full season unbeaten.”
Dragons under 14’s, who finished second in their league, are also in playoff action this weekend, entertaining Northants Thunder in their first round game at Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College on Sunday (tip off 12:30pm).
Tordoff says, “Although ourselves And Sheffield dominated this league, it will be a challenging game against Thunder, who are the fifth northern seeded team. We have built and improved from last season, with players taking huge strides in improving their game.”
Entry to Saturday’s game in Buttershaw is free of charge.