The London team had stormed the Division Two table last season, losing only one game and then went on to win the end of season playoffs, beating Lancashire Spinners who were also promoted to the top flight. Despite being newcomers to Division One, Lituanica had already won their opening game of the season, at home against Westminster Warriors last Thursday and have also booked their place in the quarter finals of the National Cup, showing that they mean business again this season.
Bradford failed to score during the first five minutes of the game, with Lituanica taking an early advantage, from which the Dragons never recovered. By the time the buzzer sounded for the end of the first quarter the Dragons trailed by a massive 16 points, with the scores at 12-28.
Nick Moore headed the scoring for Bradford with 19 points, whilst Adria Rodriguez Vinas contributed 16 points to the Dragons total. But the most telling statistic of the game lies within the field goal percentages, with London shooting 66 percent from open play, whereas the home side could only manage to sink 37 percent of their shots. The normally reliable Henry Bongoma, who has been a proficient point scorer in previous games was probably the most out of sorts, hitting a mere 25 percent, falling way short of his 65 percent against Derby Trailblazers last week and 63 percent against Lancashire Spinners the previous weekend.
Mellor contemplated upon his team’s performance, saying, “We played a very poor game from start to finish really. We didn’t guard anybody, whilst offensively we didn’t move the ball and their players to get enough high percentage opportunities. They (London) played well and we just didn’t match their physicality with any kind of toughness and intensity the whole game.”
Dragons now move on to an away fixture at Derby Trailblazers next weekend, who will be keen to extract their revenge following Bradford’s dramatic victory against them in the National Trophy, last week.
Dragons’ Under 18s had their game at Tees Valley Mohawks postponed this weekend, whilst the under 16s faced a home fixture against Cheshire Wire, going down to a heavy defeat, 52-108. The under 14’s completed what can only be described as a miserable weekend for the Dragons, losing 65-75 at home to Durham Wildcats.
All photographs © ALEX DANIEL PHOTOGRAPHY