Recently, the Gaelic Dragons dragon boat team was invited to partake in a little cross-sport fun with the Gaelic Lions, the gaelic football club of Singapore. A few weeks before this match, the Dragons had hosted some Lions on the river, inviting them to paddle with us for an afternoon. The Lions were now reciprocating, and I got my first taste of Gaelic football.
It was a hot day, but every day is a hot day in Singapore. You just suck it up an go about your fun. We all arrived at Dempsey Hill and the Singapore Cricket Club pitches where the matches would take place. Donning a rainbow of team-colored commemorative jerseys (I was green team), we headed out onto the smaller of the pitches because the SCC had double-booked with the rugby teams and we lost our full-size pitch.
The afternoon started with some warm up practice, introducing the newbies like myself to some of the skills required in Gaelic Football, including hand-passing (like a volleyball bump), soloing (toe-kicking the ball to yourself; like dribbling) and other ball-handling skills. After the warm-up, it was time to get the tourney going.
The pitches started out fresh and grassy, flashes of bright yellow, pink, orange, blue ,green and red streaking across, but in a short enough time the pitches were reduced to torn-up mud pits. Gone was the brightness of the jerseys as well, though nobody was complaining about getting a little muddy. It just made everything more fun!
Our games were not full-on gaelic football matches, due to the smaller team sizes, and smaller pitch size. We were not supposed to play with our feet, which is normally allowed, nor were we scoring against a net and uprights. Instead we scored by successfully hitting an upright mat with a legal shot.
It was a good time nonetheless. There were some friendly tackles and I made a goal… except I was out of bounds when I made my shot so it didn’t count. But man was it a sweet shot! At the end of the day, as we celebrated this successful meeting of Lions and Dragons with Magners and sandwiches, we all marveled at our spectacularly muddy presentation, and parted for the afternoon tired but most certainly having enjoyed ourselves.
Pictures from the matches are up on my Flickr, which you can find a link to at the bottom of the blog.