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Heroic Charlie sees Cambridge through

OH Charlie Desmond (BFr 2002) is the hero of Cambridge and the national press today, following his match equalising try at yesterday’s Varsity Match at Twickenham.

Charlie ensured that the MCC Trophy remained in Cambridge hands after his outstanding try, scored in the corner with seven minutes remaining.

The 20-year-old wing, winning his first Blue in front of 43 000 people, had not even played a game for the first XV at that point and was still a regular in the U21 side. In addition, he was the sole member of Cambridge’s line-up to be reading his first degree so he was very surprised to be playing. "It’s rare that a fresher gets in the full side," he told The Times yesterday. "I thought if I was playing for the U21s there was a good chance I’d be pushed up, but I wouldn’t have expected to get in the team so quickly."

Haileybury’s Director of Sport, Ian George, was at the match to watch Charlie. "The moment of glory came in the last five minutes when Charlie was given the ball about 15 metres out with very little room to work in and one defender to beat," explains Ian.

"However, he did not need a second invitation and he danced around the defender a la Jason Robinson and dived over in the corner. It was a fantastic moment and real ‘Roy of the Rovers’ stuff. I am delighted for Charlie as he is one of the most unassuming young men I have met and I’m sure that moment will live with him and his family for ever."

Charlie played for two seasons in the Haileybury XV when he was in the Sixth Form in 2001 and 2002. He also played for Middlesex schools and had a trial for the London and South East schools. Ian says he was a fine all-round sportsman and he still holds the school record for the 100 metres.