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.
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