Gary Flockhart: No stars for critics after poor showing

THIS truly is a dark time for journalism - and I’m not talking about phone hacking or any other ‘dark arts’ stuff here.

No, 11 men brought shame on the good profession last Sunday at the Meadows, losing the annual Amnesty International Comedians versus Critics football match by four goals to three.

How humiliating must it be to have been part of that losing team? Well, let me tell you as someone who played in the game, VERY!

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Last year, when we trounced the jokers 7-3, they couldn’t have hit a cow’s arse with a banjo - but this time they were ruthless in front of goal.

No one more so than funnyman Kai Humphries, who put them two up inside ten minutes with a quick-fire brace.

Us critics pulled one back through an own goal, before Peter Geoghegan’s wonder-strike levelled the match at 2-2.

Into the second half and Humphries completed his hat-trick before some comedy defending (no joke!) resulted in a critics’ penalty after lanky-legged captain Edd McCracken was upended - “all 17ft of him,” according to Mark Watson.

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Edd must have known what was coming because he had no hesitation in handing me the ball. As I stepped up to take the kick, the comedians tried every trick in the book to put me off - but fortunately it flew into the corner of the net. Huge sigh of relief.

Three each, then, with ten minutes left and everything still to play for. Or at least there was until Chris Martin (no, not the Coldplay singer!) took it upon himself to score a late winner for the comedians.

No matter, the game was played with the right spirit, as it always is, and some of the live commentary from the comedians on the sidelines was side-splittingly funny - especially when Watson had the mic.

Next year, we’ll take revenge.