AN emergency evacuation of the DAM Health Stadium led to Edinburgh’s first warm-up match for 2022-23 campaign ending six minutes early, with London Scottish leading by eight points when the contest was brought to its premature end.

The reasons behind the evacuation were not clear in the immediate aftermath of the PA announcement that all spectators were to leave the venue with immediate effect, and a statement issued by Edinburgh around 45 minutes later did not shed any more light on the matter.

It said: “Tonight’s match has been abandoned on health and safety grounds. We apologise for any inconvenience caused, thank fans for their patience and wish all supporters a safe journey home. The match ends 26-34.”

Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair later added: “Decisions have to be made with respect to the welfare of the players and how long it is going to get things organised to restart. Both sides just felt it was the right decision.

“We’d warmed down a bit and then health and safety made the call, which I think was the right decision all round.

“It was a little bit

frustrating not to get that last six minutes, they’d kicked the ball out 10 metres from their own line. So, it was an opportunity to pressure back on them and try to win the game, but we’d seen enough to understand that we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

The game started off in keeping with the script with Edinburgh full-back Henry Immelman crossing for a fifth minute try following an exchange of passes with scrum-half Charlie Shiel, and stand-off Charlie Savala adding the extras.

But the semi-pros of London Scottish – who finished bottom of the second-tier English Championship last season with just one win and one draw from 20 matches – had not travelled north to play the role of hapless fall guys, and a burst of three tries in seven minutes turned this game on its head.

First good hands from turnover ball, featuring former SRU academy prospects Nathan Chamberlain and Robbie McCallum, sent flying winger Josh Gillespie streaking home on the left. That was quickly followed by Hayden Hyde bursting through the centre and galloping home unchallenged from 40-metres, and then a floated Luca Petrozzi pass sent Noah Ferdinand over in the corner.

Chamberlain managed one from three conversions to make it 17-7 to the visitors with 19 minutes played, before retiring injured with a shoulder injury.

Edinburgh rallied briefly and should have scored when Jack Blain bustled into a threatening position on the right, but the winger’s offload to Chris Dean, who had the try-line at his mercy, was poor.

London Scottish weren’t so wasteful when they got another chance to attack, with McCallum and Ferdinand combining to send Petrozzi under the posts, to set up an easy Harry Sheppard conversion which made it an unlikely 24-7 with half an hour played.

At last Edinburgh recovered some composure and focus, and they finished the half strongly to claim tries through Blain after a sustained period of pressure and debutant Jake Henry following some fine broken field running from Savala, Adam McBurney, Savala again and Connor Boyle.

That brought it back to a three-point game at the break, and Edinburgh wasted little time in edging themselves back into the lead, with Blain scooting over for his second after six minutes of the second-half.

But the hosts then took their foot off the gas again and former Scotland Under-20

man Cam Anderson took advantage to score London Scottish’s fifth try, which edged them back into a

narrow three-point lead,

which soon stretched into an eight point advantage when some more slick hands gave visiting No 8 Cam King all the room he needed to score his team’s sixth try before

the premature ending.