Bradford started strongly and had soon built up a commanding eleven point lead, with Rihards Sulcs and Tamas Szlavik leading the early scoring. Despite the hosts responding with a flurry of their own, the Dragons led by six at the first interval, with the score at 18-24.
But, it was the Lancashire side that came out the strongest, in the opening stages of the second half, quickly increasing their advantage to ten points. Realising that they were going to have to put up a fight, the Dragons stepped up a gear and just as quickly eliminated the deficit. Throughout the remainder of an exciting third quarter, the lead exchanged hands time and time again, with the Spinners finally going into the final interval with a slim one point lead, at 68-67.
In the final quarter, Bradford took command of the game, once again storming into a ten point lead. However, the Spinners refused to roll over and brought the game back to a respectable 92 to 94 by the close of play.
Sulcs was once again the top scorer for Bradford, with 18 points, whilst both Jason Swaine and Vance Silcott finished on 17 each, with Silcott also boasting 10 rebounds to achieve a double-double. Spaniard Miguel Lorenzo finished the game as the Dragons most effective player, with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
For the Spinners, player coach Steven Gayle top scored with 24 points, whilst Josh Houghton finished the game on 20.
Bradford’s head coach, Chris Mellor said, “I knew it was going to be a tough battle and I’m just pleased to come away with the win. We weren’t great defensively, either in effort or intelligence, but thankfully we put the decisive run together at the start of the fourth to open the game up. They (Lancashire Spinners) are going to be a major force in division two this year and they have stacks of talent, so all-in-all it’s a good win for us”.
Bradford will now play a home fixture, against the winner of next weekend’s game between Worthing Thunder and Worcester Wolves II, in a fourth round tie scheduled to be played on November 16th.
Next weekend, Bradford return to the Dragons Den, on Saturday November 1st (6:15pm), for their opening Basketball England, National League Division One game, against last season’s champions Reading Rockets. During the game, there will also be a presentation made to the victorious Yorkshire under 15’s boys’ squad, who won the annual Regional Development Tournament, held in Leeds at the end of September.
Elsewhere for the Dragons, the under 14’s enjoyed an emphatic victory at Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows, 30-110, whilst the under 16’s also beat City of Birmingham by 80 points to 58. The under 18’s completed a clean sweep for the Dragons junior teams by beating Leeds Tigers, 79-63.