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Cup Match thrashing

Bermuda has just come off a four day weekend as the island celebrated Cup Match, a cricket match between what is considered the best players from the east (St Georges) and the island’s west end (Somerset). More officially the two day match is known on Thursday as Emancipation Day, marking the freedom of Bermuda’s slaves, and Friday is Somers Day, named in honour of Bermuda’s founder, Sir George. The second day was only granted a public holiday in 1999, 52 years after the Thursday was officially recognised – largely due to the massive popularity of the game and also the fact that no one actually showed up for work.

So two days off and this year for the first time in a couple I didn’t make the hot and sweaty pilgrimage even though it was up ‘our end of the island’ in Somerset. 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?

The people watching is, shall we say, interesting, the music is loud with wannabe DJ’s competing for bass levels between overs and often balls and the rum swizzle runs like an endless river of strong sugary rocket fuel. I had a couple of friends here from Milwaukee and I got them top notch executive box tickets which are perched on the third level of scaffolding with rickety wooden floors. Not quite Miller Park but the rum swizzles do take away any safety concerns.

Often the two day game ends in a draw, either because of rain, the slowness of the play, continuous drunken pitch invasions, or the fact that the holders have no rush in pushing for a result as a draw means they keep the trophy. However this year saw for the first time since 1967 and innings win. That was St George’s, Somerset hadn’t won by more than an innings since 1947, but this year they swept their east end rivals aside winning by an innings and 35 runs, their biggest ever win in the 116 year history.

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