BRADFORD Dragons got their season back on track with a morale-boosting 82-67 victory over English Basketball League Division One rivals Reading Rockets in the Dragons' Den.

The game was not due to be played until February, but the Dragons' scheduled fixture against Manchester Magic was postponed due to the latter playing in the National Cup semi-finals, and Reading (against Loughborough Student Riders) were in a similar position, therefore the league clash was brought forward.

The teams had recently met in Reading, who won by 21 points, and since then the Dragons have lost four from five in the league, while the Rockets have won seven from nine overall.

The Berkshire side put the first points on the board via a Sydney Donaldson two-point jump shot, but Rafi Saipe levelled almost immediately before Rihards Šulcs gave the hosts the lead.

American Tim Gill squared things up for Reading, but was fouled in the process by Fetske, and Gill sank the resulting free throw to reclaim the lead before Eisley Swaine took it back for the Dragons.

Jerrod Hendrix then hit a two to put the Rockets back in front with three minutes played but that was to be the final time they would see the summit.

The Dragons opened a 20-11 lead and, although the visitors claw some of the advantage back before the first-quarter buzzer, the hosts still led 23-18.

Reading also put up the first points of the second quarter but couldn’t stop Bradford from pulling away again and, with only three minutes of the half remaining, Spaniard Joaquin Calvo's sweet three-pointer put the Dragons 11 clear, with Šulcs making it 13.

As in the first quarter, the Rockets hit back, and when the buzzer sounded for half-time the damage had been limited to 46-39.

At the start of the third quarter, Saipe sank another three-pointer, and three minutes in the Dragons led 56-39.

However, the visitors scored nine unanswered points as they narrowed the gap to 60-51 at the end of the quarter.

And the Dragons continued their habit of making life difficult for themselves, and Ed Potter's lay-up reduced the gap to four points two-and-a-half minutes into the final period.

But the Rockets were the architects of their own downfall as Gill was called for his fifth foul and was ejected.

Reading were then forced into fouling to try and regain possession, but Bradford merely pulled away to eventually win by 15 points.

Swaine and Šulcs scored 19 points each, while Taco Bell Player of the Game Fetske contributed 18.

For the visitors, Hendriks scored 19 and Gill 16.

Bradford coach Chris Mellor said: "It was a good team performance. We were tough defensively and competed well on the boards.

"I was pleased with our composure and discipline and it was exactly what we needed after losing three straight.”

The Dragons’ final game of 2017 is at red-rose rivals Lancashire Spinners, who have yet to win a game this season, on Saturday (7pm).

The Dragons’ under 14s endured another defeat, 69-58 at home to Chesterfield Flight, while a depleted under-16s travelled to pacesetters Tees Valley Mohawks and were beaten 71-26.