BRADFORD Dragons kept their play-off hopes alive, and dented those of hosts Worthing Thunder, with a 98-86 victory in National Basketball League Division One.

The Dragons started the match one place below Worthing, just outside of the play-off places, and started slowly after their arduous journey, trailing 20-14 at the end of the first quarter.

Despite a more balanced second quarter, the visitors still went in 44-37 behind but, whatever Dragons head coach Chris Mellor said during the interval certainly worked, as they turned on the style in the second half.

Bradford led 69-65 at the end of the third quarter, and they stretched their advantage in the final period to keep their post-season dreams alive.

American point guard, Jeremee (J P) Davis top-scored for the Dragons with 27 points, ably supported by Rihards Sulcs and Miguel Lorenzo, who scored 23 and 17 respectively.

Mellor said: “It’s a huge win for us and keeps us in with a shot at the play-offs. We weren’t good in the first half – we played soft defensively and made poor decisions offensively – but we played really well in the second half.

"Our defence created a lot of fast-break opportunities and we played smart and under control in the final five minutes to see the game out.”

Worthing went on to beat leaders Essex Leopards on Sunday, keeping them just above Bradford in the table. However, a defeat for Leicester Warriors at Tees Valley Mohawks moved Bradford into the final play-off berth.

Dragons’ final league game of the season takes place on Saturday evening at the Amaechi Basketball Centre – home of Manchester Magic.

A Bradford victory would leave them in a commanding position. However, they may have to wait until the following weekend to find out if they have qualified, due to other teams having games in hand.

Elsewhere for the Dragons, the under-16s finished their regular-season games with an 80-73 defeat at Cheshire Wire, leaving them fifth in the table and facing an away game in the first round of the play-offs.

The under-14s celebrated a double victory, following up a 119-43 home win against Leeds Tigers on Saturday morning with a 100-33 triumph at Tees Valley Mohawks on Sunday.

These results mean that Dragons' under-14s finished second in their table and will have home advantage in their opening play-off match.