The sides face Leeds and Leeds Trinity respectively next week.

The sides face Leeds and Leeds Trinity respectively next week.

Sunderland’s basketball first team will be looking for a third straight win of the season when they travel to league leaders Bradford 1sts on Wednesday.

It’s been an intriguing start to the 2016/17 BUCS season for Sunderland, with Brian Calder’s side losing their first two games of the season by a narrow margin, before winning their last two games in successive weeks.

In the last fortnight, Sunderland have managed to claim their first league win in a last second thriller against Leeds Beckett 2nds, then they beat York 1sts in a more comfortbale manner to advance to the last 16 of the BUCS Northern Conference Cup.

Both these victories came at home in City Space, with Sunderland yet to taste victory on the road for the entire calendar year of 2016. However, momentum does appear to be with the Wearsiders now and you wouldn’t bet against them grabbing a third victory on the trot.

Their opposition

It will certainly be no easy task for Sunderland to continue their winning ways, as they visit a Bradford team who are yet to taste defeat in four games this season. Two wins out of two in the league against York 1sts and Hull 1sts sees Bradford sitting pretty at the top of the Northern 3B division as the only team in the league with a 100% record.

Also like their visitors, Bradford have advanced to the last 16 of the cup competition. Similarly to Sunderland, they’ve had to come through two rounds in the cup, but have only played one game. Unlike Sunderland however, Bradford did play in the first round, beating York St John 1sts 72-60 at home, before effectively receiving a bye in the second, as they traveled to Liverpool to face their 2nds only to find out their hosts couldn’t field a team.

Bradford are certainly not a team accustomed to losing games, with only two defeats to their name in league games since the start of last season. It was only those two losses which cost them promotion to the league Sunderland were relegated from last campaign, the Northern 2A. Therefore Bradford will be desperate to not lose at all this season and gurantee a league title and promotion.

No recent history

These two teams have gone in opposite directions to the point where they meet in this division this season. Therefore since the BUCS started keeping records a decade ago you can’t find a meeting between these two in terms of first team against first team. So with no previous history to look on, it should be an enthralling contest when Bradford 1sts meet Sunderland 1sts at the Fitness & Lifestyle Centre, Richmond Road, Bradford at 8.00pm on Wednesday 16 November.