IT WAS a weekend of high drama for Bradford Dragons as they got their first league win of the season, beating Team Northumbria 73-69 on Saturday evening, but lost to Tees Valley Mohawks 92-81 in overtime on Sunday afternoon.

The Dragons were looking to exact revenge for Newcastle-based Northumbria's victory against them in the National Trophy four weeks ago. However, it was the visitors who got the better of a close opening quarter, taking a slim three-point lead into the first break.

The Dragons struggled to make any significant impact on the second quarter and, by half-time, Team Northumbria’s lead had been extended to nine points at 35-26.

The temperature in the Dragons Den started to rise in the third period of play and, following a series of questionable refereeing decisions, resulting in Bradford’s Jason Swaine being ejected from the game for a second unsportsmanlike foul, the crowd really started to get behind the home side.

Going into the final quarter still trailing by eight points, the Dragons put together a run of ten unanswered points to take the lead for the first time since the first period, going on to finish the game with a 73-69 victory.

Head coach Chris Mellor said: "There weren’t many positives in the first half. We turned the ball over far too often and couldn’t get anything going offensively. However, we came out much more focused after the break, played harder, rebounded better and got the big stops down the end to pull out the win.”

Jermayne Laing top-scored for the Dragons with 17 points, with Vance Silcott once again the most effective player with 14 points and 13 rebounds. After some disappointing performances in recent weeks, John Bantock put in a good display, in front of his family, who had flown across from Canada for the weekend, with a tally of 13 points.

On Sunday, the Dragons travelled to Middlesbrough to face Tees Valley Mohawks, who had returned from beating Hemel Storm the previous evening.

It was set up to be a close and tense affair and the game did not disappoint. Tees Valley held a slim three-point lead at the end of the first quarter, which was cancelled out in the second with the teams entering the half-time interval all square at 38-38.

The second half of the game followed a similar pattern, with the home side leading by five at the end of the penultimate period.

In the fourth quarter, the Mohawks opened their lead up to nine points, before the Dragons went on an unreciprocated 12-point run of their own. The lead changed hands again before Swaine scored one of his trademark three-pointers to tie things up and the home side missed the final shot, taking the game into a period of overtime.

The extra minutes proved too much for a weary Dragons team and the home side totally dominated, taking the honours with a 92-81 victory.

Mellor said: “We didn’t compete well enough on the boards and defensively we allowed too many of their players to get going. We missed some easy stuff around the rim and the overtime period got away from us far too quickly."

Bantock put in another impressive performance and was joint top-scorer with Rihards Sulcs on 17 points. Swaine hit 13 points and Tamas Szlavik 12.

This Saturday the Dragons entertain Hemel Storm in EBL Division One (6.15pm tip-off) and they are home again the following day, facing Worthing Thunder in the National Cup quarter-final (4.15pm). Tickets for both games are available through the Dragons website or on the door on game days.

Elsewhere for the Dragons, the under-18s won 86-73 against Gateshead, while the under-14s produced an emphatic 120-38 victory at York Eagles. Both teams currently sit top of their respective league tables.