BRADFORD Dragons secured a comfortable 81-67 win against Team Newcastle University on their long-awaited return to NBL Division One action.

Without games on consecutive weekends since the middle of October, the Dragons looked like a team still fighting to get back into rhythm in the first quarter of their league opener.

The play of the quarter came right at the end when Ricky Fetske followed an Albert Margai miss with a ferocious put-back dunk to beat the buzzer.

Tied at 17, Bradford began to kick into gear in the next quarter and never looked back. Fetske poured in 12 points with Margai adding eight of his own.

Tyme Regent-Bascombe started an 8-2 run with a layup off a Margai feed.

Regent-Bascombe then turned provider, finding Fetske, who fired home a second three of the quarter to extend the visitors lead to 42-35.

Ronald Blain responded with a layup before Margai beat the buzzer with a deep three to hand Dragons a then game-high eight-point lead (45-37) heading into half-time.

The hosts managed to cut the eight points to just two halfway through the penultimate period.

However, Regent-Bascombe would start an 11-3 run to end the quarter, skying in for an offensive rebound before kicking the ball out to Margai, who drilled his third three.

Heading into the final period, Bradford were in full control, leading 62-52.

Dragons produced a truly dominant five-minute stretch of basketball at the start of the final quarter.

Laing and Regent-Bascombe combined for nine of the Dragons 13 points.

As Fetske knocked home another jumper, the Dragons lead had suddenly ballooned to 20 points (75-55).

Although Newcastle did half the difference (77-67) with just under two minutes to play, Uche Umekwe chipped in four straight points to put the finishing touches on a gritty opening day away victory.