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.
Bradford never managed to get close to their hosts after the break, with the Trailblazers increasing their lead to thirteen points (59-46) by the end of the penultimate period of play. By this time the Dragons were clearly starting to show signs of fatigue, allowing the home side to finish the game off with a substantial twenty-two point victory, 82-60.
Top scorers for the Dragons were Nick Moore (19 points), Adria Rodriguez Vinas (17 points) and Eisley Swaine (13 points). Moore also completed a double-double in the game, taking a total of twelve rebounds.
In his customary fashion, Bradford’s head coach, Chris Mellor, refused to make any excuses for the defeat. Reflecting on the game, Mellor said, “We got ourselves into the game but ended the first half very badly. We made some really poor offensive decisions, which led to easy scores for Derby at the other end. We never really got close to them after that and a culmination of poor shooting, rebounding and live turnovers, leading to scores, sealed our fate. At the end of the day, I thought that the final result was a fair reflection of the game.”
The Dragons are now none from two in the league and must pick themselves up for a home fixture against Kent Crusaders next Saturday, 7th November, in the Dragons Den (tip-off 6:15pm). The Crusaders have also made a blank start to their season, losing in each of their opening three games. Both teams will therefore be keen to kick-start their season with victory next weekend.
Dragons’ under 16s narrowly lost out, 86-83, following overtime against Manchester Giants on Sunday, with the game taking place at Oldham Sixth Form College. The under 14’s travelled to Sheffield Junior Sharks II, bringing home a 76-47 victory.