Brawl uproar

AN UGLY brawl involving players and spectators caused the umpires to abandon the NTFA division 2 match between Old Scotch and Fingal Valley at the NTCA Ground yesterday.

The game was called off just before half-time with the Thistles leading 6.6 (42) to 3.5 (23).

In a spiteful and physical contest between the two top sides, the melee erupted just before half-time after a Fingal Valley player was hit in a tackle.

The player concerned was awarded a free kick down field for high contact but got up and remonstrated with the Old Scotch player responsible - sparking an all-in brawl which spilled over into the crowd and the coaches box.

The umpires were unable to control the brawl which lasted several minutes and eventually decided to abandon the game.

It is understood that Tasmania Police was called to the ground.

NTFA general manager Robert Anderson said a special board meeting had been called to deal with the incident on Tuesday.

``I've asked both clubs to give a full, written report to be discussed on Tuesday night and we will decide whether we refer it to a conduct committee or an independent investigation officer who can review the information supplied,'' he said. 

It is understood that ill-feeling has existed between the two clubs dating back to last year's second semi-final and grand final which Old Scotch won.

Old Scotch president Rafe Bell alleged that the brawl was pre-meditated and that there were comments posted on social media  before  the game that physical confrontation was going to happen.

``Six or seven of their guys were throwing punches before the first bounce targeting our key players,'' he said.

``Their reserves side waited out on the boundary line to watch so it was clearly premeditated that they were going to go out and try to rough us up before the game started.''

Bell said his club will refuse to play Fingal again and would push for it to be expelled from the competition.

They will also claim the four premiership points from the game.

Fingal president Stephen Smart declined to comment.

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