Fans enjoy the traditions of Cup Match
Cup Match festivities got under way at the St George’s Cricket Club today as spectators gathered to celebrate Emancipation Day.
The Wellington Oval was abuzz with energy as people filled the stands from early this morning to watch the game, bet on crown and anchor tables, listen to soca music, enjoy refreshments, and mill about greeting fellow game goers.
Supporters of both teams seemed unbothered by intermittent rain showers that punctuated the sunny periods throughout the morning.
Paul Daniels, who supports St George’s, remained optimistic despite his team’s poor record in recent years.
Mr Daniels said: “Somerset has won for what, five or six years in a row now? But ask half of those Somerset fans, they grew up without ever seeing their team have a victory.
“They went 20 years without winning, so they can chat all they want nowadays.”
Mr Daniels, whose family has been blue and blue “for generation after generation after generation”, has attended Cup Match every year with his friend Robert Coddington for about four decades.
He said: “We got here at 7 o’clock, and we’ll be here bright and early tomorrow.”
He added: “The cricket is the best part. The first day is Emancipation Day, it is very important. The older people remember the meaning of Cup Match, the younger people don’t seem to.”
Somerset supporter Tucker Powell, 21, said: “Before Beachfest, I always come to the game to enjoy the camaraderie and the sportsmanship out here.
“It’s a tradition that I come with my dad. It used to be the whole family but it slowly got less and less and now it’s just the two of us. I’ve been coming to the opening ball every year for the past 15 years”
Mr Powell added: “Coming to see the game with my dad every year is definitely one of the biggest highlights of Cup Match for me.
“When I’m older I plan on coming to the game with my dad as well as with my kids, so that we can have this same bonding experience that we’ve had for a while.”
He said he would return with his friends tomorrow to “hit the crown and anchor tables”.
Charlie Marshall, a Cup Match batting legend for St George’s but now a supporter, said: “I love coming to Cup Match. It’s very exciting and one of my favourite holidays of the year. As you get older, Cup Match becomes better than Christmas.”
He added: “This is Bermuda, this is the gift, all the support from Bermudians of all different cultures coming out.”
John Rankin, the Governor, said: “Everyone’s very excited about the start of Cup Match on the first day. The sun is shining, a bit of grass on the pitch so it’s good for the bowlers.”
Mr Rankin added: “It’s an important day that marks emancipation. It’s right that the island comes together to remember that and to look forward as well.
“I just hope everyone’s safe, everyone has a good time, and that it’s a good, competitive match.”
Follow RGSportsdesk on Twitter for live updates from the match.
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