BRADFORD Dragons went head to head with Team Newcastle University on Sunday afternoon, in a fixture that was set to make or break their season.

In a closely fought game, the Dragons took an 87-81 away win, securing their qualification to the post season playoffs.

The Dragons were in no doubt of the importance of this game, knowing that the win would put them through to the end of season competition.

A loss could easily have seen them miss out for the second consecutive season, particularly as it would hand Newcastle the head to head between the two sides (should they finish level on points.

Accordingly, Bradford’s head coach Chris Mellor had instructed his side to treat the game as a one-off knockout game.

Newcastle opened the scoring with the first offensive play of the game; however, the Dragons immediately responded to open their own account.

Despite leading throughout the remainder of the opening quarter, and at one point opening up a seven point advantage, the visitors found themselves behind 22-21 when the buzzer signified the end of the period.

Into the second quarter, the Dragons quickly regained the lead and led throughout the majority of the period.

But this time they remained strong throughout and despite Newcastle’s resilience the Bradford side were up 44-40 going into the half-time interval.

After the break, the game continued to follow a similar pattern, with the Dragons opening a gap up and then Newcastle pulling it back close.

When the teams left the court for the final scheduled break, there was just three points behind the two sides, the game 63-60 in the Dragons' favour.

In the final quarter, the Dragons showed gritty determination and quickly opened up a big 13-point advantage.

The game looked as though it was only going one way, but unbelievably, just a couple of minutes later, the hosts found themselves two points up.

Mellor called for a time-out in an attempt to regroup his team, which clearly had the desired effect, as Bradford closed out the game strongly, to take the win by six points.

Once again, Justin Williams headed the Bradford scorers, with a 37-point tally which saw him named as the National Basketball League Player of the Week.

Bradford’s longest serving player, Rihards Sulcs, added a further 24 points to the Dragons' total, while Jordan Whelan also hit double figures with 11 points.

The Dragons now face one more league fixture before the play-offs begin, traveling to second placed Worthing Thunder on Saturday evening (tip off 7:30pm).

Bradford cannot finish any higher than fifth, so will be facing an away game in the play-offs.

Whoever they face in the quarter-final stage, the Dragons are looking at the possibility of hiring a coach to transport supporters to the game.

If you would be interested in a seat on the coach (cost still to be determined) please email, as soon as possible, to express your interest.