Hemel Storm gained a modicum of revenge over the Bradford Dragons at the weekend, beating the West Yorkshire side 93-81 in Division One of the National Basketball League.

The Dragons had beaten the Hertfordshire outfit in the KitKing Trophy semi-final at the start of the month, advancing into the showpiece, where they will take on the winners of the other last-four clash, taking place this Sunday between the Reading Rockets and the Derby Trailblazers.

But Hemel are having a better season than Bradford in the league, and their victory in the game between the two sides last Saturday at Calderdale College’s Inspire Centre took them up to fourth.

That made it four wins in six games for Storm, whereas Bradford are down to eighth in the 13-team division, having lost five times out of seven so far.

In the Dragons’ defence, their roster was heavily depleted last weekend.

They were missing the vast experience of both Ricky Fetske (injured) and Rihards Sulcs (personal reasons), while long-term absentee Andreas Lycoudis is not quite ready to return yet, instead targeting the Derby Trailblazers fixture on Saturday, December 9 as his comeback game.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Dragons missed the reassuring presence of Ricky Fetske (13) on Saturday, who missed their home game against Hemel with injury.The Dragons missed the reassuring presence of Ricky Fetske (13) on Saturday, who missed their home game against Hemel with injury. (Image: Alex Daniel.)

Jordan Whelan was playing, but doing so through the pain barrier, having missed the previous game with neck and back problems. 

Hemel made the decisive move in the first quarter last Saturday, reaching the buzzer with a sizeable 25-10 lead.

The two teams cancelled each other out in the second period, meaning the visitors headed for the locker rooms with a 47-32 advantage.

Bradford threatened a comeback with an excellent third quarter, winning that 26-16 to close the gap to just five points.

But Hemel held their nerve in the final quarter, taking that 30-23 to take a 93-81 victory.

Storm got their tactics spot on, nullifying the prolific Justin Williams and restricting him to a lowly 16 points, including a remarkable none in the whole of the first half.

Instead, it was Joe Buchanan (26 points) and Zion Tordoff (20 points) who did the bulk of the scoring for the Dragons, with the pair sharing the Player of the Game award as a result.

Bradford’s next league game is at home to Newcastle University tomorrow, with the visitors knowing a win will take them above the Dragons in the table.