Agony for Bradford Dragons in play-off semi-final

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Vance Silcott top-scored for the Dragons Vance Silcott top-scored for the Dragons

Bradford Dragons suffered a heartbreaking 75-73 defeat in their first-ever EBL Division One play-off semi-final against Reading Rockets.

In a see-saw contest, Bradford saw their promotion hopes crushed in the final seconds of the match.

In front of a noisy travelling band of Dragons supporters at the ABC Centre in Manchester, Bradford led 18-17 at the first break.

Reading had eased ahead 39-32 at half-time but in the third stanza, veteran Vance Silcott went to work, scoring 14 points, combining with eight third-period points from guard Jermayne Laing as the Dragons retook the lead at 60-52.

The Dragons opened an 11-point lead with seven minutes on the clock but Reading refused to crumble and EBL Division One player of the year Josh Wilcher dragged them back into the game.

They took the lead with 14 seconds on the clock and, after stealing a loose Dragons pass, Carter was fouled and duly hit one of his free throws with six seconds left.

A desperation ‘hail Mary’ shot by the Dragons failed to drop and the game was lost.

For Dragons, Silcott scored 20 points, Laing 12 and Dan Foley weighed in with another double double (ten points and ten rebounds).

Chairman Stuart Culliford said: “It was an incredible game to watch and be part of and the fans who travelled to the game were a credit to the club.

“Hats off to Reading Rockets for battling through and showing why they are worthy league, cup and trophy winners this season.”

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