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Dramatic afternoon as East Anglian Air Ambulance is called during Cambridge University RUFC’s win over North Walsham



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Charlie Watson CURUFC's number 12 lays injured towards the end of the first half as the air ambulance arrives in the games against North Walsham, but he was able to get to his feet and walk to the ambulance to go to hospital. Picture: Keith Heppell. (48380562)
Charlie Watson CURUFC's number 12 lays injured towards the end of the first half as the air ambulance arrives in the games against North Walsham, but he was able to get to his feet and walk to the ambulance to go to hospital. Picture: Keith Heppell. (48380562)

A dramatic afternoon at Grange Road ended with a 31-7 win for Cambridge University over North Walsham.

In the fifth match of six warm-up games for the Light Blues before facing Oxford at Leicester Tigers on Sunday, July 4, it was far from as usual as the East Anglian Air Ambulance had to be called to the ground.

It had started normally enough, with the Light Blues playing some impressive rugby in the first half to build up a lead.

A great break by full-back Joey Gatus down the left wing saw him draw the Walsham full-back before putting in Charlie Watson for the opening try.

Four minutes later, Watson had a second. Sam Isaacs was tackled on halfway, but before being put into touch managed to off-load to the Cambridge No 12, who raced away for his second try.

Charlie Watson in action before his injury. Picture: Keith Heppell
Charlie Watson in action before his injury. Picture: Keith Heppell

Watson was at the centre of the entire afternoon as he then created the Light Blues’ third try in the 26th minute, making the break and then drawing the Walsham No 15 before passing to Charles Favell to score, and Jake Hennessey’s conversion made it 17-0.

However, just before half time, as Cambridge defended their 22, Watson went down after making a tackle.

The medics were on quickly and there was sufficient concern to call for the paramedics.

First an ambulance arrived and then, not long after, there was the sight of the East Anglian Air Ambulance landing on the Grange Road pitch - believed to have been a first.

After treatment on the pitch, Watson was able to get to his feet and give a thumbs up to supporters before being taken to hospital by ambulance, rather than by air ambulance, to be checked over.

When the game restarted, after the sides turned for half time, Walsham were the stronger side, getting a deserved try through their blind-side flanker, which was also converted.

The Light Blues regained their composure and ended the game with two impressive tries.

With great patience and working the space, Gatus broke the line and then put Max Loveridge away to touch down. Hennessey added the conversion.

The scoring was completed by Loveridge.

The students turned over possession in the 22, and then went wide to put away Loveridge on the short side to dart away and dot down in the corner. Hennessey’s kick for the extras, which was successful, was the last action of an eventful afternoon.

Meanwhile, off the pitch during the second half, a bucket went around the crowd to raise funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.



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