Winning Tickets to England vs Ireland Rugby - Tentatively linked to Saint Beatrice (her Feast Day celebrated on 16th August on some calendars)

Winning Tickets to England vs Ireland Rugby

On 16th August 2019 I received a message to say I had won tickets to watch the England vs Ireland rugby friendly before the World Cup on 24th August.  I had been trying to get tickets to it so that I could take Ben (my son – who was 16 at the tine) as he is rugby mad.  I often enter competitions although do not win very much.

When I got the news, I messaged Ben and I do not think he believed me, but he was excited.  I then booked our train ticket.  We got a taxi from home to Tiverton Parkway where we got the train to Reading.  We did not have to wait long for the train from Reading to Twickenham where we joined the throng wearing England shirts.  As is normal with all rugby games, the crowds are friendly and there was some good banter on the train.

When we got to Twickenham, there were several streets closed and police directing the traffic – both cars and pedestrians, and we joined the crowds heading to the stadium.  Some locals had set up BBQ’s in their front gardens and were doing well selling them to the passers-by. It was at full capacity – 82,000.  On arrival we got drinks, and had a look around the stands, British Airways had a stand with a couple of rugby related games which Ben had a go at.  We then waited for the arrival of the teams.

It was about the hottest day in August and temperatures were well over 30 degrees.  I must admit that I wished I had bought more water.  We got some food and went and found our seats, which were fortunately shaded from the sun.  I felt sorry for those people in the front rows who were fully exposed.

We were in a crowd of Irish fans so that added to the fun – especially as England had an amazing win 51-15 despite Ireland scoring first.  Seeing 82,000 people and hearing the noise is amazing although the first time I really appreciated the size of the crown was on the walk back to the train station.  Unlike arriving, everyone left at the same time.  I thought it would be a good idea to try to get some food in Twickenham before we left but every pub/shop/café was packed.  We bought a few bits in a small supermarket and joined the crowds trying to catch the train.

Crowd control was good and the trains were regular so, even though it felt we were waiting for ages, the truth was that it was well organised and we arrived in Reading well before our train was due back to Tiverton, only to find the train was delayed by over an hour.

We decided to go for a walk around Reading and managed to get some dinner in a restaurant.  We got back to the train station to find a further delay but eventually got home just after midnight.  It was a long day but very enjoyable.