HEMEL STAGS 0 BRADFORD BULLS 68 hemelsta.champmodel.dyndns.info

28th May 2018


HALF TIME 0 - 24

It's not often that you can take positives from a 68 - 0 defeat but Coaches Dean Thomas and Jack Howieson were pleased with their team's performance against League leaders Bradford Bulls, a club who in the not too distant past were World Champions, Super League Grand Final winners and winners of the Challenge Cup.

On a day of blistering heat, a record breaking crowd saw the Stags match their more illustrious opponents in several departments until finally the heat, fitness and experience told and the Bulls ran in the bulk of their 12 try haul.

Earlier this month Bradford notched up 124 points in their game against a hapless West Wales Raiders and when Dane Chisholm found a gap in the home defence to open the scoring with just 3 minutes on the clock it gave the home supporters a deep sense of foreboding!. Chisholm converted his own try for the first of the 10 conversions he was to make in the game.

The Stags players had other ideas though and some sterling defensive work they kept the Bulls out until the 21st minute when journeyman Matt Garside crossed for a try. Along with the Stags defending well they also made forays into Bulls territory and literally got within inches of the chalk on more than one occasion.

The game was played throughout in a very good spirit but Hemel were constantly penalised for perceived technical offences by a referee who seemed keener than Paul Daniels to produce cards from his pocket . In a crazy 10 minute spell either side of half time he sent 3 Hemel and 1 Bradford player to the sin bin.

The second stanza started in a similar fashion to the first with Bradford touching down after 5 minutes but despite the disparity in the numbers of players on the pitch the Stags defence still looked strong and there was little to choose between the two teams.

With just 20 minutes of the game left Bradford finally began to dominate, the catalyst for that may have been a fine try by Pickersgill who ran fully 80 minutes to dot the ball down.Three tries from the visitors in the last 15 minutes of the game gave the game a scoreline that the Stags did not deserve but they can hold their heads high for having produced a performance better than many of their doubters predicted and with a blank weekend next weekend they will journey to West Wales on June 9th with confidence.

Mention should also be made of the way that the Hemel club pulled out all the stops to give the day a carnival atmosphere and a day that supporters from both clubs enjoyed, the club receiving a lot of compliments on the day and afterwards on social media. They may have lost the game but the Stags won a lot of friends as a result of this game


- Ian Henshaw

HEMEL STAGS 0 BRADFORD BULLS 68 hemelsta.champmodel.dyndns.info