Belfast - Ulster Cricket Club

Ormeau Road - Ballynafeigh : BR3 5AS Belfast - Ulster Cricket Club : Map credit PRONI Northern Ireland maps Belfast - Ulster Cricket Club : Image credit muse-ette.com
The Ulster Cricket Ground in Ballynafeigh Park was a sports venue in Ballynafeigh, Belfast which opened in 1879 and was the home ground of both Ulster Cricket Club and Ulster FC. Ballynafeigh Park was a very popular track for about 20 years, hosting large sports meetings.

In 1881, the North of Ireland Bicycle Meet was held there (similar to the Harrogate Meet in England) and 80 riders met at Ballynafeigh Park. There was bicycle racing on a track which was described "the track (1320 yards) would have been splendid going as it was virtually a cinder path but it had some awkward corners." The bicycle races included 5 miles and 20 miles handicap races.

The Ulster Football and Cycling News of January 17th 1890 described the Ulster CC cinder track as "about 550 yards to the lap, and will be banked at the four corners to the height of 2 feet 9 inches." Athletic events were run inside the cinder cycling track.

In 1896, the Royal Irish Constabulary (Belfast) sports day was a large affair, there were 25 bicycle and athletics events, 400 competitors from all around the UK and a large crowd. The track was described by the Belfast Newsletter of 8th June 1896 as "in the pink of condition...The track was probably never in its history faster than just now, and never before has Ulster a stronger claim to the possession of the best cycling track in the country". The bicycle events were 1,2 and 5 miles handicap and 2 and 3 miles handicap for police officers.

The British Empire Cycling Championships were held at the Ulster Grounds, Ballynafeigh on June 30th 1906. The titles decided at the meeting were the quarter mile, one mile and five miles Empire Championships.

A reports from 1908 describes the poor state of the track and a proposal to build a gas works on the site.

The ground is now Ulidia Playing Fields.


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Photos : muse-ette.com
Maps    : PRONI Northern Ireland maps