York Tornadoes produced a strong display to see off title challengers Bradford Maroons as they continued their unbeaten league record this season with a 71-57 win, writes Will Jackson.

The result helped move York five points clear at the top of the West and North Yorkshire second division, with their opponents nine points behind having played five games fewer.

Despite going behind early on, Tornadoes produced some excellent work at either end of the court to go into the first quarter all-square. American Justin Loblack was particularly prominent, as he scored eight points before the break.

York, who were fielding a very strong side, were forced into a change shortly into the second quarter as Elliot Wyatt suffered a nasty finger injury in a collision with his own player before being rushed off to hospital.

The loss of Wyatt seemed to galvanise the team, and the strength of the squad meant that they were still in the ascendancy. Adrian Blatherwick and David Whiting came off the bench to good effect as the Tornadoes scored 11 unanswered points to stamp their authority on the game.

Guards Liam Hudson and Scott Richards were in excellent form in the third quarter, combining for several superb assists as York’s lead stretched to 11 points.

However, they could not shake off Bradford, who upped the tempo late in the final quarter in a desperate bid to claw their way back into the game. York held on though to claim a 71-57 win.

Coach Arnie Johnson said: “We knew it was going to be a tough game and we would have to be at our best.

“We are looking to repeat that performance in each of our six remaining league games and the cup semi-final.

“We have done fantastically so far to get in this position but if we can keep people fit and working hard in games we can hopefully reach our target of promotion in our first season as York Tornadoes.”