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Labour trounced in lobby match

Labour has been dealt a mauling by journalists in the traditional party conference football match.

The Lobby romped to a 4-0 victory against a team featuring frontbenchers Ed Balls, Jim Murphy, Andy Burnham and Sadiq Khan.

All the goals were scored by Sky News' Ramzi Bedj Bedj - who terrorised the Labour defence throughout and also missed twice from close range.

The first period was tightly contested, with the journalists struggling to break down the partnership between Mr Murphy and shadow pensions minister Gregg McClymont in the middle of the park.

But after the deadlock was broken on the stroke of half-time, the momentum was always firmly with the Lobby.

Mr Balls' attempts to make an impact were thwarted by solid defending from the Western Morning News's Graeme Demianyk and former Daily Telegraph political editor Andy Porter.

Rather than any spectacular strikes from the shadow chancellor, photographers this year had to make do with a dramatic face-plant when he lost his footing running into the box.

Long-term lobby captain Patrick Hennessy was given the man-of-the-match award in recognition of his contribution over more than two decades. He is leaving the Sunday Telegraph to become a Labour spin doctor next month.

Mr McClymont was named the politicians' best player for the game, which was sponsored by National Grid and Mars and held at the Sussex County FA ground in Lancing.

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