DANE Chisholm turned out to be the best man again as he left the Bulls in the bridesmaids role after their heaviest loss of the year.

The maverick Australian, who left Odsal last month after jetting off mid-season to a wedding, was at the heart of Featherstone’s emphatic victory at Post Office Road.

Chisholm was here, there and everywhere against his old team-mates with a typically livewire display sealed with a hat-trick.

There were no last-gasp heroics from the Bulls this time after the two one-point wins that came before.

Instead, Featherstone wrought their revenge in style to inflict a third Championship defeat in May for John Kear’s men.

The distraction of the Challenge Cup run won’t gloss over the fact that they are losing ground against their closest rivals in the fight for the top five.

With both teams currently locked in the six-club scrap for the three play-off places behind Toronto and Toulouse, Kear had labelled the contest a “four-pointer”. Sadly, that was all his team could manage against a fired-up Fev.

The Bulls coach had been forced into a host of changes because of injuries and a late illness to Ross Peltier.

The forward was struck down just before kick-off, forcing Kear into a late promotion of youngster Alix Stephenson to the bench.

Jake Webster’s knee had flared up in the team run and Rowan Milnes was out with a shoulder problem. Dalton Grant was also suffering from a dead leg.

But George Flanagan was a welcome addition to the ranks to face one of his former clubs after missing the last six games since breaking his thumb in the breathless Challenge Cup win.

New signing Joe Brown travelled with the squad having re-joined his hometown club from Wigan but was not involved.

Having lost back-to-back Championship games, the Bulls went into the afternoon on the same points as Fev, whose thumping win over a depleted York the week before was the best performance at Blackpool in Kear’s eyes.

After the two thrillers served up previously this season, it was no surprise to see the game explode into action.

Ethan Ryan, back on the wing, was off to the races with an interception inside his own half – only for Gareth Hewer’s whistle to pull him back for a knock-on against Ross Oakes.

Then Chisholm thought he had engineered an opening Featherstone score but that was chalked off for an obstruction on Brandon Pickersgill.

The Bulls fullback embarked on a dangerous run but it was Featherstone who made their early pressure count as John Davies took them beneath the posts where Cameron King went over.

And the hosts were over again in the 16th minute – with Chisholm engineering a flamboyant one-two.

His kick to the corner was kept alive by winger Luke Briscoe and the Aussie followed it in to touch down from the rebound.

“He’s one of our own” sung the Bulls fans as Chisholm made his mark against his former employers.

Chisholm then burst deep into Bulls territory – only to toss a careless pass straight at Oakes.

Featherstone broke again with a two-on-one but coach Ryan Carr was left screaming as Brad Day’s lay-off was spilled by Josh Walters with only Pickersgill to beat.

The Bulls were under the cosh and needed to show real goal-line grit to prevent Jack Render going over for a third try.

Chisholm once again demonstrated his enigmatic nature with a wild ball out wide to blow another scoring drive after Fev ignored Carr’s call to take the two from a penalty.

Kear’s side were dealt a further blow when an injured James Green had to be helped from the field five minutes before half-time. The forward immediately headed away on crutches.

Jordan Lilley and Pickersgill combined well to bring another Chisholm tester out of defence.

The Bulls had been second best for most of the half playing up the Featherstone slope. But their work around the danger area, summed up by a try-saving tackle from Ryan just before the hooter, had been good to keep the score in check.

Featherstone went off feeling they had let their opponents off lightly given the number of scoring chances they had created.

The Bulls came back out firing and Flanagan was harshly denied a quick-thinking effort for an apparent obstruction. Luke Cooper then produced some goalkeeping skills to hang on to Matty Wildie’s grubber on his line.

But the growing pressure brought its reward when Wildie spotted the Rovers backline out of position. Nobody was at home as he lofted his kick towards the corner and Ryan made it look easy to claim the catch and convert.

Lilley’s bomb caused more consternation in the Fev ranks as the momentum began to shift. But the defence held out as Flanagan, Pickersgill and Matty Storton were all thwarted.

But the sustained period of Bulls pressure ended when Pickersgill sloppily knocked on in his own half and a penalty for interference allowed Chisholm to give Fev a further two points of breathing space.

The early storm survived, Featherstone increased their advantage again as fast hands found John Davies for an angled charge over the line from 20 metres.

Chisholm clubbed the extras wide and appeared to be carrying a bit of a knock – not that Bradford had tested him enough defensively.

Fev were back in the driving seat and reinforced their dominance with a spectacular long-range effort from Briscoe.

Breaking from his own 30, the winger bobbed and weaved through the white shirts on an exhilarating run to finish by the posts.

Chisholm fluffed a straight-forward conversion which he clanged against the post – but that did nothing to put him off as he came straight back with some lovely footwork and a side-step through the open defence for Featherstone’s fifth try.

An increasingly miserable afternoon continued as Wildie was pulled up for obstruction as David Foggin-Johnston ran the ball out. Chisholm slipped as he knocked over the two but it was the Bulls’ play-off hopes taking a fall.

Featherstone were far from done and Conor Carey bagged their sixth try with a high take from Tom Holmes’ set-up kick, Chisholm nailing the touchline conversion.

And the bedraggled Bulls conceded a seventh try with centre Josh Walters joining the fun before Chisholm once more struck an upright with the attempted extras.

But there was one more trick in the book from the scrum half as an interception try sealed his hat-trick with the last attack of the game.