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Leeds Carnegie spike Bradford Dragons' perfect record
Bradford Dragons' unbeaten start to the VCARS.co.uk Division One season ended at Leeds Carnegie.
Both teams entered the game with perfect records, which added even more excitement to the West Yorkshire derby.
Leeds were also opening thaeir new facility and had attracted a capacity crowd of 500.
Carnegie started the first quarter the stronger as they looked to use the noise from the crowd to their advantage but Dragons battled their way inside to earn their points, with Vance Silcott dominating the boards early on.
Carnegie, however, managed to open up a four-point lead by the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter continued in the same vein but the emotion of the occasion entered into proceedings and was highlighted by an unsportsmanlike foul from Leeds' Dave Ajumobi on Dragons' Rihards Sulcs, leaving him lying on floor.
Bradford used this to motivate them and managed to take the lead in the closing seconds of the half. However, a buzzer-beater three from Sean Clifford meant that Leeds entered the break with a two-point lead.
Both teams came out in the third quarter strongly and exchanged baskets but Carnegie's defence proved the difference as they limited Dragons to just 14 points in the quarter.
This enabled them to extend their lead to six points going into the final period.
The game was decided on three huge plays from Carnegie's Armand Anebo who hit a triple of outside shots within the space of two minutes, putting Dragons firmly on the back foot.
Bradford's Mark Saladzius answered with his own barrage of long shots but it wasn't enough to get Dragons the win as Carnegie finished 73-67 ahead.
Bradford were led by Mark Saladzius with 21 points, while Vance Silcott put up 20. Ajumobi led Leeds' scoring with 19 points and Anebo had 14 points.
Dragons' head coach Chris Mellor said: "It was a typical Leeds-Bradford game in many ways, with neither team really finding any rhythm offensively in the first half.
"We started well in the third quarter but they hit numerous perimeter shots and I felt that was the defining factor overall. We were playing catch-up for much of the fourth quarter but never quite got there,"
Dragons face Leicester Warriors next Saturday at Bradford College, Trinity Road, BD5 0JE (6.15).
Elsewhere for Bradford, Dragons II continued their winning start to their VCARS.co.uk Division Four campaign with 41-75 win over Oldham Titans, Rob Donaldson leading the scoring with an impressive 36 points.
The under-18 men couldn't secure the win as they travelled the Gateshead, the Tornadoes triumphing 63-56 but the under-14 boys picked up another victory as they beat Leeds Carnegie II by 78-43.
The under-16 boys weren't able to claim a victory though as they fell to Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows 114-41 yesterday.
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