Cup Match Special
After four years of rain affected lethargy, today’s Bermuda Cup Match ended in excitement as Somerset, who had batted like the blind school yesterday, fought back courageously to make a real fist of it and nearly snatched the trophy from St George’s for the first time since 2002.
My son and I were at the Wellington Oval today down at the east end of the island in St George’s to watch the annual proceedings and jolly good fun it was too. It is hard to describe the atmosphere except it’s about as far removed from a Lords test that you can imagine.
The locals dress to impress, well I am sure they impressed someone, the rum and beer flows and wannabe DJ’s compete with each other ten feet apart. The local scaffolding companies make a killing as that is pretty much what everyone is standing and sitting on and I hope, I really hope, they have ruddy good liability insurance.
As the day grew, so did the crowd and with that the noise and alcohol levels. Around 6,000 pass through the gates, although easily double that camp on every available piece of grass as east-enders leave their houses for the long weekend and those from the west end make their annual pilgrimage to the other side of the island almost 20 miles away!
Bermuda’s Cup Match is definitely on the Island’s bucket list and how many places do you know in the world that have two days of national holiday to watch a cricket match? Officially yesterday was Emancipation Day, marking the freedom of Bermuda’s slaves, and today is Somers Day, named in honour of Bermuda’s founder, Sir George.
The Cup Match holiday itself only became ‘officially recognised’ in 1947 – a full 75 years after it began – largely due to the massive popularity of the game and also the fact that no one actually showed up for work. In 1999 the second day, the Friday was also granted as a public holiday in honour of English Admiral, Sir George Somers, who colonized Bermuda in 1609.
The rain stayed away and St George’s held on for victory winning by two wickets at just gone 7pm local time tonight. Next year the game returns to the west end and the Somerset Cricket Ground and their very young team will be hoping for some long overdue success.