PACKED HOUSE: Oakes Oval in Lismore was full for Saturday night?s rugby league trial match. Picture: CATHY ADAMS
PACKED HOUSE: Oakes Oval in Lismore was full for Saturday night?s rugby league trial match. Picture: CATHY ADAMS

Fans clash after Titans match

By JANE GARDNER

jgardner@northernstar.com.au

THE streets of Lismore erupted into shocking alcohol-fuelled violence following Saturday night's Oakes Oval football match.

Police estimate anywhere from 500 to 1000 revellers spilled into the CBD, many of them intoxicated and unstable.

Only minutes after the game ended, at around 10.30pm, the first brawl broke out on Woodlark Street.

What followed was over 20 brawls broken up by police in the CBD until 5.30am on Sunday.

Two women and two men were charged with various assault and affray offences and will appear in Lismore Court on March 12.

The brawls were so numerous the lock-ups were soon full and police had to let later offenders go home.

Duty officer Sergeant John Ennever said there were at least nine extra police on the streets until dawn dealing with the violence.

A number of people were injured.

Sgt Ennever said police dealt with the situation the best they could under the circumstances.

"Some people were removed from the area and taken back to the station for a short period of time," he said.

"Alcohol was a big factor and we believe many of these people had been drinking at the game.

"Ambulance officers treated a number of people for injuries."

It is believed there were no weapons used in the altercations, just fists.

Patrons at the match were well-behaved, with only two minor incidents occurring shortly after full-time.

As the Titans celebrated their win a young man ran across the field for about 40 seconds before being tackled by police.

Minutes later, another man tried his luck and managed to jump over a fence before being detained.

At that time, Sgt Ennever was preparing officers for a long and eventful night.

His hunch was correct, with the following hours proving to be the busiest night he had seen for some time.

"Only 10 minutes after the game the fights started happening," he said.

"We expected the trouble, but not with so much ferocity."

Most of the violence occurred on Woodlark, Keen and Magellan streets between people of varied ages and mixed ethnicities.



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