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Custody of the cup

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Somerset captain Albert Steede holds the Cup Match trophy after a drawn match at Wellington Oval in 2003

Summertime in full swing! The winter wardrobes and blankets have all been packed away. The birds have made their journeys from down south, and the flowers are in full bloom, showing off all their pretty colours. Come to think of it, a lot of the vehicles are showing off their pretty colours, too. They have those lovely flags with their colour combinations of red/blue and light blue/dark blue.

That’s right … it’s Cup Match time again!

Midsummer is just not complete without having the greatest — and friendliest — custody battle every fought. Somerset and St George’s will take each other on for possession of the coveted Cup Match trophy, a prize that comes with some serious bragging rights. And the only way to settle this very important matter is to have a cricket game for two days in a row.

What better way to celebrate the end of slavery in Bermuda than by playing cricket?

We’re talking about a cricket game that is so important to Bermuda that the rest of the island shuts down so everyone can watch it. From the government offices to the mom-and-pop stores, they would close for both days. This is why many scramble on the final few days before to make sure they have everything they need, or risk having to go without until Saturday.

There was, however, one major flaw to this tradition: the tourists did not like coming when everything was closed. So some businesses have been staying open during the holiday, even if only for a few hours.

The game hasn’t even started yet, and already people are seeing red, as well as navy blue and light blue. Businesses all over Bermuda are decorated for Cup Match, showing equal support for both teams. Red and navy blue is for Somerset, light blue and navy blue is for St George’s. Even the statue of our beloved goodwill ambassador, the late Johnny Barnes, is showing support for both teams.

This year, the game is being held in St George’s, but that doesn’t stop Somerset’s famous bridge from getting all dolled up for the big game. And let’s not forget a certain house just outside of St George’s. You know, the blue one with the coloured water jugs. When they are filled with only light blue and dark blue liquid, you never have to ask whose side they’re on.

That’s not the only house dolled up for Cup Match. There are quite a few residences displaying their support for their favourite teams. And if you think all the Somerset fans are in the western side and all the St George’s fans live in the eastern side, well ... you would be surprised.

Let’s not forget about the vehicles. There’s Cup Match merchandise for them, too. Little flagpoles, mirror covers, even the classic ribbons are used to give cars, trucks, vans and bikes that extra bit of Cup Match class.

Last but not least … the outfits. Many fans are already wearing their team’s colours or even just those cute ribbon pins. One of the most-asked questions is what people are going to wear for Cup Match. Some folks like to go all out, wearing nothing but their team’s colours, to go with their team flags that they’ll be waving at every successful run. After all, everyone wants their team to win, right?

Speaking of … Somerset have been maintaining a tight grip over the trophy in what has become another long winning streak. But St George’s are not known for giving up. They’ve had winning streaks of their own, and to win custody of the cup would definitely be a game-changer.

So, the million-dollar question is: will Somerset keep the cup for another year or are St George’s going to win custody this time?

We’ll know soon enough, won’t we ... ?

• Marietta McCoy is a social commentator

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Published August 02, 2023 at 7:58 am (Updated August 02, 2023 at 7:25 am)

Custody of the cup

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