REJUVENATED Bradford Dragons notched a much-needed victory double at the weekend.

They began with a vital and unexpected 87-82 National Division One victory over Hemel Storm and followed it with a 98-85 National Trophy quarter-final success at Westminster Warriors.

Hemel arrived at the Dragons' Den in third place – nine places and 14 league points better off than their hosts – but an uninitiated spectator would have been forgiven for thinking that the teams were the other way around in the opening period.

Rihards Sulcs, making his first start of the season after injury, scored the first points of the night a couple of minutes in and, once that initial basket went in, it seemed that Bradford could not miss, Hemel calling a time-out when they were trailing 17-6.

It did little good, however, the Dragons ending the first quarter leading 24-10, and they twice extended their advantage to 17 points, Nick Moore providing the play of the night by spotting a gap in the Hemel defence to land a spectacular dunk.

However, Hemel narrowed the gap to 44-32 at the interval before the Dragons embarked on what has become their most difficult quarter.

Unfortunately for Bradford, this was no different, and twice their lead was reduced to three points before the Dragons claimed a 65-60 advantage going into the final quarter.

The lead was again down to three points in what could have been a nervy finale and, despite the Dragons embarking on a 13-0 spree to put them 16 ahead, Hemel had reduced that to three points again with only eight seconds left.

But, in a desperate attempt to regain possession, Hemel's skipper Simon Kearney fouled Jason Swaine, who sank both of the free throws to seal Bradford's victory.

Adria Rodriguez Vinas, who put in his best performance to date for the Dragons, scored 21 points, while Rafi Saipe also impressed with 18 points, all of which came from three pointers.

Both Moore and Sulcs added 16 points, with Moore also taking 15 rebounds to record his customary double-double. For the visitors, Nikolas Rhodes sank an impressive 31 points.

The Dragons therefore moved one place up the table to 11th, but, more importantly, put a bit of breathing space between themselves and the relegation spots.

In the National Trophy, Westminster lead after the first three periods – 23-18, 45-42 and 69-67.

However, Bradford stepped up a gear in the final quarter to triumph by 13 points.

Sulcs led the scorers with 23 points, followed by Henri Bongoma (22), Moore (18) and Vinas (16).

The Dragons will now be at home to Manchester Magic in the semi-finals on Sunday, February 7.

Bradford coach Chris Mellor commented said: “We played well in both games. Our attitude and intensity was much better than in the last few games and we eliminated a lot of mistakes we’ve been making.

"We rebounded well, and when both Hemel and Westminster made runs and cut into our lead, we handled it well and closed out well.

"This should give us some confidence but we’ve got to kick on now, starting next week at London Lituanica.”

Dragons' under-16s lost 70-55 against Cheshire Phoenix at Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College on Saturday lunchtime, but Dragons' under-14s won the curtain raiser 112-37 against Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows.