Bradford Dragons continued their impressive end-of-season form with a fifth win in a row to strengthen their push for a top-three EBL Division One finish ahead of next month’s play-offs.
They emerged with a 75-65 victory from their trip to Newham Neptunes after a fiery and competitive encounter which left them fourth in the table on points difference.
There were numerous technical fouls as well as some terrific three-point shooting as Bradford pulled clear in the second half aided by the supreme fitness instilled by coach Chris Mellor.
The first quarter ended 18-13 in favour of the south London hosts as the Dragons struggled to find their rhythm and it was much the same in second period as it ended 32-29 to Newham.
But Bradford gradually established their superiority to move 51-47 up going into the final quarter and, spearheaded by Nathan Ashley, they pushed further clear before the end.
Ashley had one of his strongest games for the club as he and Carl Pearson both finished with 15 points.
The Dragons’ second-team game at Rawthorpe Eagles was postponed, while the thirds lost heavily 101-44 at Aireborough Arrows in the Leeds & District League.
Meanwhile, it was a successful weekend for Bradford’s youth teams.
The under-16s travelled to table-topping York Eagles and won 85-84, before an 85-44 home win against Gateshead Phoenix the following day left them top of the table to earn a first appearance in the play-offs.
Bradford’s under-15s won their opening play-off game at Notts Nova 87-78, while the under-14s concluded their regular season with a 79-63 home win against Liverpool Tigers to finish second and secure a play-off berth.
The unbeaten under-13s blitzed City of Birmingham 105-70 in the first round of the play-offs and now play London Baltic Stars in the quarter-finals.