AFTER dousing the Thunder last week, the Bulls swerved the lightning at Hemel yesterday.

The forecast of an afternoon electric storm in the heart of Hertfordshire thankfully never materialised after flash floods in the area the night before.

There was no raining on Hemel’s parade in the biggest game of the community club’s history.

Nor, more importantly, were John Kear’s troops unduly ruffled on the way to a regulation victory against a team still looking for their first points.

The humid conditions combined with a narrow and incredibly uneven pitch provided the trickiest hurdles in a game when Bulls were never threatened despite rarely going through the gears.

It resembled a stroll in the sunshine at times with the visitors getting the job done without too many thrills. But the defensive steel on display in the stifling weather was the biggest plus for the coach.

With no disrespect, the quality of opposition did not require a full-on display – particularly in such intense heat. But to come up with another “nil” is a feather in the cap as the Bulls head into a much-needed free week.

Eight second-half tries gave the scoreline the emphatic manner that was to be expected after an up-and-down first 40 minutes, not helped by the officious approach of the referee. Thirty penalties did not make for a flowing game.

Hemel had certainly pulled out all the stops for a league contest they could never have imagined in their wildest minds.

The Bulls fans travelled in force to ensure the previous record crowd of 480 at Pennine Way was well beaten – despite the local police’s needless call to make it all-ticket.

Those supporters who made the journey south were treated royally by their hosts, who laid on street-food stalls and entertainment to make it a real day-out.

But then, Hemel is a rugby-league town despite the unlikely location – all the local high schools play the 13-man code rather than union.

The Stags hoped that Bradford’s visit can only strengthen the game’s bond within the area – even if yesterday’s action was hardly the most competitive spectacle.

The Bulls needed just two minutes to score from their opening set as Dane Chisholm went through on a show and go before landing the extras.

Hemel looked to offer some resistance, only for Sam Hallas to pounce on a grubber kick five metres from the Bulls line. But Ethan Ryan’s attempt for another athletic try from Chisholm’s chip was ruled out by the touch judge.

Referee Michael Mannifield’s whistle-happy approach set up a stop-start opening quarter. There were errors on both sides and Ross Peltier knocked on from both of his opening carries, one denying him a try, although he also forced a couple of penalties. It was that sort of game.

After the scratchy opening, the Bulls finally added to their tally just after the midpoint of the half as Chisholm sent in Matty Garside.

They should have immediately had another as Elliot Minchella’s pass went straight through the hands of Dalton Grant as the winger waited to pounce. Then Chisholm was held on his back by three yellow shirts.

Louis Sheriff’s booming 40/20 kick set up Hemel in striking position – only for the stand-off to then put far too much on a lob to the corner that sailed into touch.

Peltier continued to be a penalty magnet, winning another, before burrowing his way over at the third time of asking for a third Bulls try on the half hour.

Hemel’s cause was not helped when they lost Sonny Esslemont and Kieran Moran to yellow cards in the space of a couple of minutes.

Temporarily down to 11 men, they were pulled open once more as George Flanagan claimed one of his trademark close-range efforts under the sticks.

Liam Johnson, recalled to the side for the injured George Milton, threatened a spectacular fifth before the hooter.

Scooping up a wayward Hemel pass in his own half, he charged 60 metres – only for Marcus Elliott to bundle him down just before the line. But the Hemel left wing then deliberately prevented a quick play-the-ball and became the third home player to see yellow.

Mannifield’s trigger-happy approach continued into the second half as Peltier was sent to the sin-bin for dissent. Greece international captain Stefanos Bastos threatened but once more the Bulls defence held firm.

Despite being a man down, the Bulls extended their advantage as Ryan whipped Chisholm’s high kick away from the grasp of Darren Forde to score in the corner. Chisholm maintained his perfect record with the boot from the touchline.

With Hemel wilting in the heat, Elliot Minchella became the sixth different scorer as he wiggled between two defenders to go in to the right of the posts.

Defensively, the Bulls continued their sturdy efforts of the previous week. Mikey Wood and Chisholm combined to carry an opponent five metres backwards in his own half before Peltier followed up with a huge hit to force the mistake.

That got the Bulls fans cheering and they were off their seats moments later as Brandon Pickersgill raced from his own 20-metre line to score the try of the game. Ryan matched him stride-for-stride but the young full back had enough in the tank to go it alone.

For once, Chisholm’s kick from a difficult angled skewed off to the right for his first miss in seven goal attempts.

He missed again from the other side with an equally tricky angle after try number eight. Pickersgill was the provider this time, his kick to the corner batted back by Johnson for Minchella to sweep round Elliott and touch down.

Chisholm was back on the money to bring up the 50 after Grant joined the party, strolling in virtually unopposed from a grubber kick.

Having got a taste for it, the Welshman promptly claimed his second try as Minchella’s kick popped out of Elliott’s hands.

Pickersgill continued his fine afternoon by setting up the Bulls’ 11th score, his delayed pass timed perfectly for the diving James Laithwaite.

Hemel’s second-half pain was not yet done though and Vila Halafihi found a hole from dummy half for the eighth try since the turn-around.

HEMEL: Welham 5, Forde 5, A Williams 5, Bonillo 5, Elliott 5, Sheriff 7, Cullimore 5, Dixon 5, Stamp 5, Thornton 6, Decaro 5, Esslemont 5, Moran 6. Interchange: Broadbent 5, R Williams 5, Bastos 6, Jowett 6.

BULLS: Pickersgill 8, Grant 6, Gibson 6, Smith 6, Ryan 7, Minchella 7, Chisholm 7, Crossley 6, Halafihi 7, Bustin 6, Garside 7, Laithwaite 7, Hallas 7. Interchange: Peltier 6, Johnson 7, Wood 7, Flanagan 6.