Ulster Rugby are based at Ravenhill in Belfast and have a strong and sometimes feverent support (beating Leicester in 2004 springs to mind). They play in the Celtic League, Heiniken Cup (winners 1999) and Irish provincial games.
Tickets (£10) can be bought online or at a few sports shops in the city cente and matches usually kick off at 1930 on Fridays. There is some seating but the majority of the 10000 capacity is terraced with the freedom to walk anywhere. .
There is a large guinness tent permanently errected behind the posts that has lots of barmaids pouring guinness or harp non stop to cut down on queueing.
This is a great way to start the weekend
Equipment: Steady hand & large capacity fo beer
Ireland are not renowned as great exponents of cricket although they do have an international team that plays against the English Counties, and Glamorgan, in a limited overs competition. Their home games are split between six grounds in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Games in Belfast are played within the grounds of the impressive Stormont Estate, home to the Northern Ireland Assembley. On my visit to Belfast I noticed that they were playing against Leicestershire so went along to join the Blarney Army* in cheering on the boys in green. It was unfortunately in vain as they lost by 81 runs but it was a very pleasant ground and a good day. Although tickets were available in advance they could also be easily purchased on the gate and there was plenty of room for spectators inside the ground. There was no designated seating but fold up chairs were available all around the ground and visitors were allowed into the pavilion.
* The Blarney Army is a word play on the Barmy Army which is the collective name given to a large group of dedicated England cricket supporters who follow the team around the world.
During my trip to Belfast in 1999, we were lucky enough to have tickets to the Rugby World Cup at Ravenhill Stadium. We enjoyed Australia vs. Romania this evening, and it was very lopsided toward the Aussies.
This was a small intimate stadium, and it seemed similar to a high school football match, even though the eventual champion Aussies were the best in the World at the time.
Wonderful venue, I would highly recommend checking a match out if the home team, Ulster is playing.
Equipment: Just your loud voices!
As a nation we are rugby mad and if you get a chance, try to catch a match at Ravenhill. This is where Ulster play, or for the bigger international matches, Landsdown Road in Dublin, where the Ireland team are based. The atmosphere is always electric and the craic is superb.
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