Sunderland won the point but celebrations were muted after the injury.

University of Sunderland’s American football team had their Tees-Wear Varsity match abandoned due to a serious injury to a Teesside player.

The injury occurred midway through the third quarter, with Sunderland leading 16-8.

And given the circumstances, the referees had no option but to bring the game to an early end, with player safety being the priority.

The Weasiders, who were playing their final match of the season, raced into an 8-0 lead within the first quarter.

Although Teesside quickly levelled the scores, the hosts’ response would provide their only points of the game as the visitors clocked up another eight points in the second quarter to double their score.

But with Sunderland looking comfortable with their advantage in the third quarter, the game was understandably abandoned, leaving the Wearsiders with just a point.

University of Sunderland head coach Pete Nichol said: “The end of the game, in the way it has ended, has put the mood down for everyone a little bit.

“We’ve not celebrated too much for it because obviously player safety is more important.”

Despite everyone’s main thoughts being with the injured Teessider, Nichol was able to give his assessment on Sunderland’s time on the pitch.

“In Varsity, it’s always important to give a good performance and get a good win,” he said.

“I was happy enough with the offence. The defence: I wasn’t happy with how Teesside scored in the way that they did. It was a bit of an easy touchdown, but fair play to them for getting it.

“We were running clear enough. We didn’t turn up with a full team but the lads have still got the job done so I’m pleased enough.

“Again, happy that we won, especially against Teesside because it’s Varsity.”