Annual Emancipation Cup Match Awards Event
The dynamic Heritage Productions group held its 11th annual Emancipation Cup Match Awards on Sunday.
The event recognises those Bermudians who have contributed towards the Island’s political, economic, social, cultural and religious freedoms.
Opening remarks by Somerset Cup Match legend Eugene “Buck” Woods set the pace for what was a remarkably well-organised event. Ample salutations were given to previous Cup Match players of note and/or notoriety, on and off the pitch. Humorous banter prevailed as attendees were feted by the Grotto Bay Beach Resort’s buffet. Club representatives and award presenters were Somerset Cricket Club president Alfred Maybury and St George’s Cricket Club president Neil Paynter.
The gala saw eight Cup Match icons honoured — Kevin Saunders, Randy Raynor, Winston Reid and Elvin James for Somerset; Willie Weldon, Ritchie Foggo, Ricky Hodsoll and Roger Leverock for St George’s. A special award was presented to Yvette Brangman, Somerset Cricket Club’s official Cup Match scorer. Each awardee had the pleasure of hearing scholarly biographical highlights of their respective careers, and they in turn gave lighthearted responses.
Kevin Saunders, who debuted for Somerset in 1978 after being a reserve in ‘74 and ‘75, was an early batsman. He only played in 1978 and was unfortunate with the bat, scoring a duck and nine in his two innings. Randy Raynor first represented Somerset in the midsummer classic in 1977 and again in 1978 as an opening bowler. In the two years that he played Cup Match, he performed quite well taking three wickets for 83 runs and scoring 13 runs as a colt. He then claimed two wickets for 12 runs and scored 11 not out in the second innings.
He thanked his uncles and cousins from the famous Raynor clan — all great and former Cup Match and county cricket players in their own right — for the foundation they provided.
Winston Reid played 11 consecutive years of Cup Match with 1979 being his most memorable. That was the year Somerset won the Cup for the first time in more than 20 years.
According to Mr Reid his best Cup Match was in 1981, the last time Somerset defeated St George’s in St George’s.
He scored 82 runs and claimed four wickets for 20 runs and vividly recalled, with humour, the chicken bones that were tossed at him and the other Somerset players by the St George’s fans. This bought hearty laughter from the attendees.
Elvin James, the younger brother of the great St George’s batsman Lloyd James, represented Somerset in the classic from 1978-1981.
While widely remembered as a bowler “El”, as he is frequently called, was an all-rounder. His most memorable year was, unsurprisingly, 1979 when he played an instrumental role in Somerset’s win. He scored 37 runs in seven balls and opened the bowling and claimed four wickets for three runs.
He expressed his thanks to his former Cup Match players, fans and family and remarked that he would have preferred if there’d been meat on the bones thrown at him and the other Somerset players by the St George’s fans.
Willie Weldon, an early order batsman in the classic, debuted for St George’s in 1982 but unfortunately did not score many runs.
According to Mr Weldon, what was most memorable for him was how St George’s prepared in the lead-up to the game.
Ritchie Foggo represented St George’s in the classic in 1981. He started five years earlier with the team as a reserve — at the age of 14. He played in only one match.
Ricky Hodsoll debuted in 1982 and represented St George’s for several years in the big game.
Widely regarded as an all-rounder, he was most recognised for his medium-pace seamers. He remarked that perhaps his most memorable Cup Match was in 1983 having scored the winning runs off the bowling of Winston “Coe” Trott, scoring 14 not out.
Roger Leverock initially was selected to play for St George’s in the 1982 summer classic, however a broken leg delayed his debut by a year. He continued to play in ‘84, ‘85 and ‘86.
He contends that his most memorial year of Cup Match was also his best. St Georges won the Cup back when he was a colt, having lost it the year before.
He played a major role in the victory claiming three wickets. He was well respected as a pace bowler.
Yvette Brangman, Somerset Cricket Club’s official Cup Match scorer — and the first female — hails from the well-known Brangman family in Somerset. With both league and Cup Match classic players running deep in this family, and being a renowned athlete in her own right, it was natural for her to be associated with the classic. However, it was by accident that while being mentored by the late Neville “Huckey” Whitecross, she scored her first complete Cup Match. Her humorous explanation had the attendees falling on the floor with laughter. Her attention to Cup Match and her precise scoring has continued for 30 years. Additionally, she continues to score for Somerset CC in league games also.
Both club presidents congratulated the former players for their accomplishments.
Mr Paynter, a teacher, sportsman and administrator, emphasised the need for Cup Match to be highlighted in the school system. Mr Maybury remarked that new things are in the works for the next classic, which is to be held in Somerset; plans include a match between former Cup Match legends.