BRADFORD BULLDOGS picked up their fourth consecutive win at the expense of a struggling Deeside Dragons side who have now lost each of their own last four games.

With several key players, including Marc Lovell, Geoff Wigglesworth, and Simon Furnival, ruled out, captain James Parsons had to play through the pain despite nursing an ankle ligament injury which he picked up in the 11-4 loss to Widnes last time out.

The Bulldogs prevailed 9-3 in an open NIHL Laidler Conference encounter on Saturday in which the Dragons were made to pay for their wastefulness in front of the net.

Dragons head coach, Gary Shaw, says: “We weren’t clinical enough in front of the net and need to be pressuring our opponents much more.

“In the first period we were all over them, despite going in 2-1 down. In the second period, we lapsed a bit, but the score should have been a lot closer than it was.

“James wanted to play. I ended up switching him to the wing because he was struggling with twists, turns and getting back.

“We ran out of legs in the end. There were a few players missing which didn’t help our cause as sixty per cent of our team was made up of junior players, but it’s good for them to get ice time to make them better players.”

Ryan Kemp set up Myles Dacres to put Bradford ahead in the ninth minute before Alex Parry levelled proceedings five minute later. But the Bulldogs pair combined again, with Dacres once again finishing a move to put their side into a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period.

Further goals from Joshua Stockton, Mark Higson, and Dean Boothroyd then gave the Flintshire club a mountain to climb in Yorkshire with twenty minutes to go.

Kemp and Dacres took turns to assist Reece Cairney-Witter to a quickfire double in the third period which gave the Bulldogs a seemingly unassailable 7-1 lead heading into the final minutes of the game.

But Christopher Jones set up Sam Krempasky to fire home before Dragons skipper James Parsons found the net eight seconds later, after being found by Matthew Wainwright, to give their team hope with six minutes left on the clock.

Those hopes, though, were dampened when Deeside’s Bradford-based new signing Corey Stones picked up penalties for interference and fighting after clashing with Bradford’s Cairney-Witter.

But Gary Shaw said: “I’ve not got a problem with it as long as whatever happens stays on the ice and doesn’t spill over.

“They were goading him a bit throughout the game, but he only got 2+2 for it, so the referee was alright with it all. It wasn’t too serious.”

Stockton struck again in the final minute before Kemp picked up a fourth assist when Cameron Kushnirenko slotted in to seal a resounding 9-3 victory.

The win keeps the Bulldogs in fourth place, two points behind Hull – who recorded back-to-back victories over Blackburn and Altrincham - albeit having played two games more than their East Yorkshire rivals.

Second place Telford Tigers, meanwhile, maintained their own impressive run of late thanks to a stunning 5-2 win against the current league leaders Widnes Wild to narrow the gap at the top to eight points.