The rules of the annual Labourista v La Lobby charity match were revised this year from the usual ninety minutes of association football to a balls-to-the wall MMA last-man-standing cage fight. The eastern Manchester theatre of dreams was once again on venue duty and referee Hunt was on loan from the PCC to helm this special occasion.
Lining up for the Labourista were a number of their first choice XI, noteably Slim Jim Murphy, Sadiq Smackdown Khan, Dave Hellboy Hodges, and their superstar striker Ballsabio.
The journalists lined up with a strong squad on paper, particularly Gram De Maniac (Western Morning News), Georgio Scotty Parker (The FT), and Matt Digger Dathan (The Times). Their team was rounded off with Rob Mayhem Merrick (Northern Echo) on midfield enforcement duty, but unfortunately BBC Salford Exiles hard man, Niko Robinho, was unable to pass a late fitness test after sustaining a groin injury in a recent drive-by press conference from a questionable challenge by Red Star Sconationnallez first choice striker Axel Slammin.
Referee Hunt blew up to begin proceedings and the journalists proved to be the quicker starters with De Maniac moving around the octagon like lightning. The Labourista had no answer for De Maniac’s butterfly footwork and he effortlessly pinned Slim Jim Murphy to the deck with his two-fingers-of-death signature move, which was neatly followed up by a textbook neck-breaker. Slim Jim tapped out before passing out and it was one up for the journalists.
Next up was Georgio Scotty Parker who went mano a mano with Smackdown Khan. Khan is a wily old fox, and used all his skill in misdirection and confusalisation to manoeuvre Parker to best exploit Scotty’s suspect knee. But Parker had seen Khan coming and whipped around at the last second, cleverly feigning a reverse-scorpion before landing Khan squarely with a spine-ripper, and as he followed up with the jaws-of-death Khan could take no more and bugged out with a double tap. Two nil to the journalists and the match was slipping away from the Labourista for the second year in a row.
The octagon remained busy with several one-on-one battles that delighted the crowd, but the scoreline remained at two nil as Ballsabio stepped up to assume responsibility for turning the match around. He faced Mayhem Merrick and the two players immediately squared up under referee Hunt’s diverted gaze with neither man willing a give an inch.
As Hunt blew up it was Ballsabio who landed some early doors pre-emptive retribution and he delighted the club Etihad crowd with a brutal two handed kidney-jack-knife which temporarily brought Mayhem down to one knee. But Mayhem shook off this early punishment and was soon back on his feet worrying Ballsabio’s weak left sided defence strategy.
The contest was nearly over when Ballsabio made his final move and he controversially caught Merrick with an elbow-of-righteous-justice right into his fizzog, which opened the claret taps on Mayhem’s eyebrow and covered the octagon’s canvas with journoblood. Although referee Hunt had managed to not see the incident he had no choice but to blow up to stop the game while the mat was hosed down.
After speaking with his fourth official, referee Hunt once again managed to keep his cards in his pocket and ruled the incident as entirely accidental and contrary to the interests of the general public to pursue any further.
As the game neared its end, a beautiful spell in the octagon from Hellboy Hodges almost brought the Labourista back into the match, as he risked everything with his bladed-hand-of-eternal-retribution signature move aimed right into the lower back of the valiant Digger Dathan, temporarily ending Digger’s involvement as he hit the deck harder than a dead troll against a paywall.
But that proved to be a false dawn as the journalists rallied with lovely some late-doors grudgement. Digger Dathan was back in the action and scored an unbelievable quadruple-chainsaw-cobra on Smackdown Khan, sending Khan on a one way horizontal holiday to decksville, USA.
Hunt blew up and that was that. The match ended 3-1 to the journalistas.