Bradford Dragons were given a few scares by struggling London Elite at Calderdale College on Saturday, but the home side eventually recorded an 85-74 win in the pair’s National Basketball League Division One clash.

In their first season in Division One, Elite have found the going tough and currently sit second from bottom in the standings.

They had lost 13 of their 16 league games prior to the weekend, which included a massive 105-73 defeat in the reverse fixture against the Dragons.

Bradford, on the other hand, had been in good form in the new year, aside from a heavy loss at Essex Rebels the previous weekend, and while this latest win only keeps them seventh in the table, they now have a four-point buffer inside the play-offs.

The Dragons also had a fresh new look for the game, wearing their new kit for the first time, with their new sponsor, Ring Automotive Ltd, emblazoned across the front of the vests.

Backed by a large home crowd, the Dragons put the first points on the board, via a layup from Zion Tordoff.

Ronald Blain soon landed a trey for Bradford but they found themselves 6-5 down in the early stages.

The Dragons soon took a grip on proceedings though and with just over five minutes played, they had opened up a nine-point lead.

The home side maintained the lead throughout the remainder of the first quarter, though they found scoring a struggle.

Elite slowly eroded the gap and, when the buzzer sounded at the end of the period, the visitors only found themselves 20-18 behind.

Early in the second period, London levelled the scores, but this appeared to give the home side the kick that they needed and the next eight points all went in their favour, with scores from Blain, Justin Williams and Rihards Sulcs.

But the second quarter followed the same pattern as the first, as Elite worked hard to once again close the gap, meaning they went into half-time just 40-37 behind.

London moved within a point at the start of the second half, although Micah Savery-Richards quickly responded for Bradford.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Micah Savery-Richards (8) kicked off what proved to be a fruitful third quarter for Bradford.Micah Savery-Richards (8) kicked off what proved to be a fruitful third quarter for Bradford. (Image: Alex Daniel.)

The two sides continued to battle, matching one another almost basket for basket, and with six minutes played in the third quarter, the Dragons only led 52-50.

But the hosts then started to pull away and, with only 37 seconds remaining in the period, a trey from Joe Buchanan put the Dragons 13 points clear.

The same player then fouled his man, and a successful trio of free throws reduced the difference to 65-55 at the end of the penultimate quarter.

The visitors were not willing to give up without a fight and slowly started to eat their way into the Dragons’ lead.

With less than two minutes remaining on the clock, Elite only trailed 78-74, before Williams settled the home crowd’s nerves with a two-point driving layup.

London needed possession and were forced into fouling in order to stop the Dragons from running the clock down, allowing the home side to add to their total from the line.

Then, with just 39 seconds left, there was another twist as Elite’s head coach was ejected for picking up a second technical foul.

With London failing to add to their score, the Dragons were able to wrap the game up, finishing the game with that 85-74 victory.

Blain once again picked up the Calderdale College Player of the Game award, scoring a game high 29 points, while also adding nine rebounds.

Zion Tordoff and Justin Williams also recorded double figures with 15 points and 14 points respectively.

Bradford hit the road again this weekend, with a visit to last season's unbeaten champions Hemel-Storm.

The two sides have met twice already this season, with Bradford taking the win in the Kit King Trophy semi-final, but Hemel taking their revenge a couple of weeks later in the league.

Tip off at the Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre is at 7pm on Saturday.