Out to settle scores, the bushwhackers entered Main Street from the North end and George Hirst’s crew from the South, but both leaders took to the back lots West of town in attempts to outflank their opponents.
The ill-omened confrontation between Rob and Hirst with his henchman ‘Lucky’ Denton saw the former’s gun jam, forcing a rapid retreat. Though things would be in the balance for a time, this proved to be a sign of things to come. Pursued by his adversaries, who were held back by covering fire from the side stairs of the corner store, he sought to re-join his gang in the street.
The battle continued at long range, With ineffectual rifle cover from ‘Kid’ Hunter up on the hotel balcony and faced with three or four long arms. The Hirst boys took cover in buildings either side of the street. Things were uncertain for a while, but Rob and his boys, wary of the threat to their right flank and making too little impression at long range, advanced to contact.
Fiercer short range fire put down three of Hirst’s men. But Haigh’s shotgun, Hirst’s heavy pistol and Emmett’s six gun took their toll, laying low five of the brave bushwhackers. Once they engaged in hand-to-hand combat, the one-armed Emmett fought like a demon and once Rob was wounded he decided it was time to sound the retreat and off he head for the hills, with what was left of his beaten up posse......