Bradford Dragons are second in English Basketball League Men’s Division One after notching a seventh straight win.

Their 81-64 home victory over Newham Neptunes was all the more praiseworthy as the visitors started the day one place behind the hosts.

However, top performances by Americans Chris McGrew and Dan Foley gave the Dragons the edge.

The first quarter was right, with Bradford leading 18-15, but a fourth three-point field goal for Will Ashby then put Newham 25-22 ahead.

Wise words were needed from Dragons coach Chris Mellor at a time-out, and he delivered, inspiring the home side to a 20-9 burst, giving them the lead by eight at half-time, 6ft 10in McGrew totalling 14 points.

The message at half-time from the Dragons coaching staff was: “We’re a team, they’re individuals. If we play our defence, we can blow them out.”

Jermayne Laing, began the third quarter with fire in his belly, the 23-year-old getting five straight points, including a long three-pointer.

The Neptunes then had a brief resurgence, again led by No 9 Ashby, and a technical foul by Dragons’ power forward Vance Silcott gave them some easy points.

However, Bradford remained strong and led by seven going into the final quarter.

Newham again showed their quality, pulling themselves back within a point, but the Dragons refused to buckle, going on a 10-2 run to clinch victory.

The Dragons can now rest before a crucial New Year National League double header, against title rivals Manchester Magic on Saturday, January 4 (6.15) and Essex Leopards on Sunday, January 5 (2.15), both at Trinity Green sports hall, Bradford College, Trinity Road, Bradford BD5 0JE.

Admission is £5 for adults and £2.50 for under-18s, students and concessions, or a family ticket  (two adults, two children) is available for £10.

Dragons-3 men lost 91-39 to visitors Bradford Maroons but Dragons’ under-14s beat visitors Oldham Titans 106-80, while the table-topping under-13s had an 81-36 win over North Division visitors Hull Wasps.

Last Sunday, Dragons under-14s travelled to local rivals Leeds Carnegie and won 96-53