L&Y match abandoned as referee is taken to hospital

Lowestoft & Yarmouth's fixture at Clacton was abandoned after referee Gary Williamson picked up a nasty injury just before half-time.

The Felixstowe official found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time when the visitors were defending at a ruck and was trapped between the Clacton ball carrier and his tackler.

In great discomfort, he was attended to on the pitch, with L&Y coach Phil Sharpe putting his first aid skills to good use before a Clacton player took over.

There was great concern for Williamson's welfare on the touchline as an ambulance arrived to take him to hospital and it later emerged that he had suffered two broken ribs in the collision.

'We've been in touch today (Sunday) and the good news is he's out of hospital and should be okay,' said Sharpe.

'It was very worrying at the time because nobody knew how bad the injuries were.

'It was a freak accident. We were defending a ruck 10 metres from our line. One of their players made a break from the fringes and when the tackle came in the referee got caught in between.

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'He shouted out that he thought he was paralysed so it was important to get him into the right position before the emergency services arrived. I came on to do what I could but then a Clacton player, who also had the right first aid training, looked after him.

'An ambulance was called for and it was just a case of looking after him until it arrived.'

It was later decided to abandon the game out of respect to the stricken official.

A L&Y side featuring a number of young players were 24-0 down at the time and it has yet to be decided whether the game will be replayed.

Beccles maintained their impressive run of the results as they won 21-13 at lowly Billericay to record a third successive win. Cameron Bonner scored two tries after Luke Wade had opened the scoring, with Wade adding three conversions.

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