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Stormont MLAs' football team embarrassed in 13-0 defeat

Instead of kicking lumps out of each other, rival MLAs were on the same side tonight as the Assembly's football team took to the field again.

But the Stormont select's latest competitive outing provided little evidence that the main parties work well together as they lost by an embarrassing 13-0 margin.

The team, which boasted the dubious talents of the DUP's Peter Weir, the SDLP's Conall McDevitt and Ulster Unionist Basil McCrea, was handed a footballing lesson by Belfast Deaf United (BDU) at the Blanchflower playing fields just a short trip from Parliament Buildings.

The side included many of the politicians who suffered the indignity of a penalty shoot-out defeat at the hands of the Stormont press corp last autumn.

Team captain and Alliance party MLA Chris Lyttle, no doubt chastened by defeat in his own constituency, chose not to focus on the result.

"We in the Assembly are always looking for ways to engage with local people," he said.

"We want to show that while we take our responsibilities very seriously it is possible to reach out to an important group in a fun way."

The ragtag 11 were always going to be up against it as BDU have proved themselves one of the best deaf teams in the UK.

They recently won through to the semi-finals of the British Deaf Cup, where they will face either Fulham or Arsenal Deaf in March.

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