Sunday, 30 June 2013

Non matchday visit of UCD Bowl, home of UCD

With a few hours to spare before my flight home, I decided to see if I would have as much luck in gaining access to a League of Ireland stadium as I had had at Dalymount Park yesterday. And so I headed southwards on the Dart train from central Dublin to Sydney Parade, from which the UCD Bowl was about a 20 minute walk. Good fortune struck for me again, as the ground was open while a caretaker was clearing away the rubbish after yesterday evening's game at home to Cork City, which they won 3-0.

Unsurprisingly, the UCD Bowl, set at the edge of the Belfield campus of the University College Dublin, is the complete opposite of what I had experienced at Dalymount Park and Tolka Park. The UCD Bowl, whilst limited in facilities, has a very modern feel and is immaculately kept. Trees lining the ground and grass banks lining two sides give a pleasant, peaceful feel to the place. There is just one stand straddling the half way line with the seats stretching beyond each side of the cover. Only hard standing is available around the rest of the ground.

As mentioned above, although the UCD Bowl lacks the character of many grounds in the League of Ireland, I imagine that this would still be a very pleasant venue to watch football on a summer's evening, despite the notoriously low crowds attracted to UCD matches - only around 100 spectators were present last night.

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