- Holiday accommodation in Spain for 1 week: ticket number 00465 Gaz Binder
- New size 6 Molten basketball: ticket number 02228 name unclear – might be Ryteman but we are checking via phone number on the ticket
- NBA team jersey: ticket number 00501 Paul Smith
- Dragons 1st team replica vest: ticket number 02820 Mark Hemp
- Bottle of whiskey: ticket number 01547 Mr Ronnie Ocumen
Bradford Dragons claimed a much needed first victory of the season on Saturday evening, with a climatic finish at home to Westminster Warriors and immediately followed this up with a second triumph, away to Tees Valley Mohawks on Sunday afternoon.
Both Bradford and Westminster entered the Dragons Den on Saturday hungry for their first wins of the National Basketball League Division One season, although for much of the game it appeared that the visitor’ had the bigger appetite, with the Dragons leaving it until the dessert course to pull off their pièce de résistance.
Both teams showed their nerves in the opening minutes of the game, with a succession of turnovers from both sides. But, despite the home side opening the scoring, the Warriors soon stamped their authority on the game and finished the first quarter with a three-point buzzer beater, giving them a five-point lead, 27-32, going into the first break.
The Dragons pulled the scores back to within two points, at the mid-point of the second period, although the visitors soon pulled away again and at the sound of the half time buzzer they had stretched their lead to nine points, 47-56.
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Bradford Dragons put in a much improved performance, but still could not stop their run of bad luck as they slipped to their sixth consecutive defeat of the National Basketball League Division One season, against Team Northumbria (86-83).
The Dragons travelled to Sport Central, in Newcastle, still looking for their first victory of the league season and facing up against a side that had only lost one of their opening league fixtures.
Bradford welcomed back Jason Swaine to their starting five, having been sidelined for the last three weeks through injury. Swaine lined up alongside his son, Eisley Swaine, who has established himself as a regular starter in recent games. Meanwhile, American Power Forward, Ricky Fetske, faced up against the side that he left the Dragons for, following his first stint in Bradford colours, in 2013.
Bradford Dragons are now in bottom place in the NBL division 1 league with a 61 – 80 home loss to visitors Essex Leopards, the 2014/15 league winners. Although Leopards started well going 6 points clear, Dragons came back strongly at the end of the first quarter to take the lead only for ex Dragons stalwart Tom Martin, now with the Essex outfit, to come off the bench to sink a triple close to the buzzer to give Leopards a narrow 18 – 17 lead at the first break.
Leopards pulled ahead in the second quarter as both sides fought hard on defence to restrict scoring opportunities but a mini surge of scoring brought Dragons close with the score at 31 – 33 score with 3 minutes to go as the Leopards coach called a time out. The Essex team then imposed an effective full court press that saw Dragons commit several turnovers to give the Leopards a 42 – 35 lead at half time.
In the third quarter, with Dragons unable to score from the perimeter against a tough Essex defence, the visitors established a lead of up to 10 points to end the third quarter 48 – 56 as Dragons power forward Nick Moore fouled out.
Dragons woes continued in the final quarter as big man Ricky Fetske picked up his 5th foul and left the game closely followed by the third and final Dragons big man Przemyslaw Wojcik who picked up a second technical foul. An undersized Dragons team fought on but Leopards eased into a final score to win the game 80 – 61 at the final buzzer. For Dragons Henri Bongoma and Jermayne Laing both scored 11 points whilst Tom Martin led the visitors with 12 points.
After the game, Dragons Coach Chris Mellor said, "We had 25 turnovers on the night 4 guys fouled out and we shot the ball poorly.Our defence wasnt bad for 3 quarters but offensively 61 is not going to win us many games and that's where we will focus our efforts this week."
Dragons now make the road trip on Saturday 21/11/5 to Team Northumbria before returning the Dragons Den for the next home game on Saturday 28/11/15 at 6.15pm against fellow strugglers Westminster Warriors with both sides desperate for a win.
Bradford Dragons’ dismal start to their National Basketball League Division One campaign continued. with two defeats against fellow strugglers Kent Crusaders (68-72) and Leicester Warriors (69-77).
The Dragons Den was boosted on Saturday evening by the return of Henri Bongoma and Przemyslaw Wojcik, whilst they also introduced their latest new signing, American power forward Ricky Fetske, who moves from BBL side, Leeds Force, for a second spell in Bradford’s colours. Fetske is well known to Dragons’ fans, having previously played for the club throughout the 2012/13 season and he has been a regular spectator at Bradford’s games since then.
However, despite the reinforcements to the Dragons squad, they were still unable to pull off a victory against Kent. The visitors had lost their opening three games, going down by fifty-five points on their own court last weekend against Lancashire Spinners. With Bradford also having lost their opening two games of the season, both sides were looking to pick up a morale boosting first victory.
The Dragons got off to a strong start, taking an early lead and restricting the Crusaders' chances during the opening minutes of the game. However, the visitors soon came back into the contest and once they had managed to get their noses ahead they never looked back, finishing the first quarter with a six point lead, 21-27.
Although the Dragons pulled the deficit back to only two points, midway through the second period, Kent managed to keep themselves in front and as the two teams walked back to the locker rooms, for half time, it was the visitors that held the advantage, at 34-37.
Bradford always looked as though they were capable of stepping things up a gear, however following the interval it was again Kent that controlled the momentum of the game, increasing their lead to six by the mid-point of the penultimate quarter and maintaining the gap through to the final break (49-55).
The visitors continued to push through the start of the final period, increasing their lead to eleven points (50-61), with seven minutes left on the clock. But then the Dragons seemed to click into gear and slowly narrowed the arrears to a mere two points (64-66), with less than two minutes of play remaining.
With the home side in the ascendancy, it was questionable whether the lesser experienced Crusaders would have enough in their tank to hold on for the win. But hold on they did, and more, finishing the game out with a well-deserved victory, 68-72.
Bradford’s two Americans led the scoring for the Dragons, Nick Moore putting up another double-double with twenty-five points and twelve rebounds, whilst newcomer, Fetske, marked his second debut for the club with seventeen points.
On Sunday, the Dragons travelled to Leicester, to face another winless team, Leicester Warriors. However, once again the Dragons were unable to kick start their season.
The Warriors led at the end of the first quarter, 20-24, but the Dragons pulled back to lead 32-34 at half-time.
The travelling Dragons increased their lead to three points, 52-55, in the third period of play. However, Leicester showed themselves to be the stronger of the two teams, completing an eleven point turnaround in the final quarter, to take the victory (77-69).
For the Dragons, Fetske put nineteen points on the board, whilst both Moore and Bongoma added sixteen points each. Fetske and Moore also both completed double-doubles, taking ten and eighteen rebounds respectively.
Bradford are now one of only three teams without a win in the Division One table, however Bradford currently sit below both Westminster Warriors and Tees Valley Mohawks on points difference.
There was no better news for the Dragons’ junior teams as both the under 16s and under 14s suffered home defeats at the weekend. The under 16’s hosted Trafford Magic, at Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College. Despite playing an amazing fourth quarter, they could not pull back enough to avoid a narrow defeat (62-68). Meanwhile, the under 14’s met Tees Valley Mohawks, also at BBEC, losing out 40-49.
Dragons’ under 18’s completed what was a miserable weekend for the club, taking a 78-70 loss at neighbours Leeds Force II.
All photographs © ALEX DANIEL PHOTOGRAPHY
Bradford Dragons travelled to Derby Trailblazers for a National Basketball League Division One fixture, on Saturday, but came home empty handed following an 82-60 defeat.
The two teams had met only two weeks previous, in a thrilling encounter at the Dragons Den, in which Bradford stole victory during the dying seconds of the game, ensuring their progression to the quarter finals of the National Trophy.
The Dragons travelled to Derbyshire with a roster ravaged by injury and absence. Jason Swain and Rihards Sulcs are both currently on the side-lines with injury whilst Henri Bongoma and Premyslaw Wojcik were unavailable, having travelled back to their home countries for personal reasons. Adria Rodriguez Vinas continues to play through the foot injury that has been troubling him throughout the early stages of the season.