updated 1/6/08
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Photos courtesy of Susan Worland Bentley, Denise & Elheran Francis

The NCCC beach - 1 Jan 2008

The NCCC on the beach after our New Year's Day match - what a way to begin 2008! Oh, and please just pretend those guys in the speedos aren't there...

A complete photo gallery can be found here.
NEW YEAR'S DAY 2008 - BEACH MATCH (1 January 2008)
Half Moon Bay, California

After years of pondering such a venture the NCCC finally had a New Year's Day match on the beach! Why seas-side shinty on January 1st? Shinty games have long been part of the year-end festivities in the Highlands, and in some areas they actually do play on the beach. More details about this shinty tradition can be found in our latest newsletter, and more action shots are available in the Hogmanay gallery!

beach arrivals
Players and family arrive on Poplar Beach.

The day was beautiful and sunny, and the temperature quite nice as well. The wind was a bit too strong to put up our most portable goals, so we used posts to indicate the goals. It was the Blues versus the Whites and the game was on! The Poplar Beach sand was softer than ideal, but such are the vagaries of sea-side shinty! We got a lot of strange looks from those out walking along the beach, and special interest from the dogs who must have assumed this was all for their benefit. We also learned the that the plastic all-weather balls do indeed float and that it can take a while to dry out shoes when you repeatedly run along the water line.

players and dog watch the action surf action
On left: we were occasionally joined by canines, though none ever succeeded in grabbing the ball (or a caman!). Right: a little action along the surf line.

Running in the sand was more tiring than running on grass or turf (no surprise there) and at times the ball became completely covered by sand amidst the vigorous challenges. Even so, we had some great action, whether or not playing on the sand is not really conducive to top-notch technique. Lifting and flipping proved most useful, and there were attempts to exploit the harder-packed sand along the water for moving the ball up and down the pitch. By the final of our four periods we had 11 players on each side and there were serious attempts to score right up until the final whistle.

goal action
Boris & Mark Bryan falls
Top: Ben stops a goal shot. Above left: Boris and Mark enjoy the challenge of winning the ball in the sand. Above right: maintaining footing was a bit difficult at times.

After four periods the score was tied at one and we decided to adjourn to the nearby Cameron's Pub. A great time was had by all and our first beach shinty match was deemed a success. Here's to a great 2008 for all!

in the pub
in the pub Max and Joshua and the bus
Above: We took over most of two rooms and a few other tables at Cameron's, and we joined by friends and family in celebrating the day! Outside are a couple of double-decker buses, an imaginative way around the smoking ban, apparently. Below: A collage of photos, the Trough of Excellence makes a New Year's appearance!

Trough of Excellence collage