BRADFORD Dragons extended their winless run to nine games after losing to Hemel Storm (90-98) and Leicester Warriors (91-99) in a home double header.

Bradford started the Hemel game strongly, storming into a 6-0 lead during the opening exchanges.

Having traded baskets for a while, Hemel managed to gain the advantage, with just under three minutes of the first period remaining.

Dragons tied the game up again before Hemel pulled ahead again, going into the first break with a slender two-point lead.

The two sides continued to trade, almost point for point at the start of the second, but with two-and-a-half minutes played, the Dragons levelled the game at 25 apiece. Hemel quickly regained the lead and, although the Dragons kept them close, when the buzzer sounded for half-time the gap was up to seven points, at 44-51.

After the break, Storm increased their advantage to 13 points. However, the Dragons would not let go and gradually pulled the game back to within five points, although Hemel added a single, from the line, before the penultimate period ended 67-73.

With only two-and-a-half minutes remaining, the scores were down to a single point, 85-86, following a two-point lay-up and an extra from the foul line by Rihards Šulcs. However, with the Dragons forced to give away fouls, attempting to regain possession, Hemel pulled away again and the game ended with them eight points ahead (90-98).

Šulcs headed the Bradford scorers with 22 points, adding 10 rebounds for a double-double.

The following day, Leicester Warriors were the visitors to the Dragons’ Den.

Dragons opened the scoring, with a Saipe three-pointer, however this was almost immediately cancelled out by the Warriors. The scores remained close throughout the opening quarter, although it was Leicester that held a slim advantage at the first buzzer at 19-22.

Warriors added to their lead from the opening play of the second-half, however, with just over two minutes of the period gone, Bradford managed to overturn the deficit and put themselves ahead. Halfway into the quarter Dragons were six up and despite their guests pulling it back to a two-point game, they were able to finish the half with a four-point lead.

Dragons maintained the lead throughout the third quarter, increasing it to double figures on a couple of occasions. In the final 30 seconds of the period, former Dragon Carl Pearson reduced the gap to seven points; however, Šulcs had the final say – sending Bradford into the final period with a nine-point advantage and dreaming of their first win of 2019.

It all went wrong in that last quarter, as Leicester levelled the scores within two-and-a-half minutes of the restart and progressing to take the lead themselves.

Bradford fans were given brief hope with two minutes remaining, when they twice levelled the score.

However as the last couple of minutes played out, Leicester were able to take advantage of Bradford’s foul count and finished the game eight ahead (91-99). Šulcs was once again the top scorer for Bradford with 23 points.