BRADFORD Dragons experienced mixed emotions after their opening two games of the season.

They were comprehensively beaten by Manchester Magic on Saturday evening in the National Trophy but went on to impose a similar defeat upon Sefton Stars in the National Cup the following afternoon.

The Dragons got off to a flying start against Manchester, quickly opening up a six-point lead as Rihards Sulcs got the better of the early scoring opportunities.

But the hosts' optimism was shortlived as a strong Magic team clawed their way back into the game to lead by six themselves by the end of the first quarter.

Bradford, who are still awaiting the arrival of some key players, struggled to take any sort of control and the visitors' lead extended by the end of each quarter.

The final score of 80-51 was reflective of a poor overall performance from the Dragons, although Sulcs emerged as the game's top scorer with 21 points.

Bradford coach Chris Mellor said: "We were poor at both ends of the floor. Defensively we did not stop their transition game and we were outfought on the boards.

"We lost most of the individual match-ups. But Manchester played well and I think they will be one of the better teams this season."

A determined Dragons team took to the court for their National Cup first-round game the next day against Sefton Stars, who were expected to provide a tough test for Mellor's men.

But the Dragons started strongly and some precise shooting from Spaniard Miguel Lorenzo opened up an early advantage.

Bradford were dominant throughout the first half and a buzzer-beater from youngster Zion Tordoff right on half-time had the crowd on their feet as the hosts went into the interval with a 51-30 advantage.

The second half continued in much the same manner and the Dragons had opened up a 29-point lead by the end of the third quarter.

With the game all but won, Bradford threw on youth players Tordoff and Eisley Swaine for the final seven minutes and these two outstanding prospects combined for the play of the game as a defence-cutting pass from Swaine teed up Tordoff for two more points.

The Merseysiders closed the gap to 27 by the close as the Dragons enjoyed a well-deserved 90-63 victory.

Sulcs again led the scoring with 28 points, ably supported by newcomers Lorenzo (18) and John Bantock (16).

Mellor said: "We played much better than we did the previous night. Our defence overall was better and it was good to get some points on the board, giving some guys confidence early in the season.

"We've still got some players lacking match fitness but this game will have helped bring them a step closer."

Bradford will face Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows in the second round of the cup on Sunday, October 5.

Meanwhile, they are in round-robin National Trophy action again at home to Derby Trailblazers this coming Saturday (6.15pm).