Showers fail to dampen spirits
Steamy weather and occasional showers failed to dampen Cup Match celebrations in St George's.
Thousands of spectators flooded Wellington Oval on Thursday and Friday to watch the annual game, enjoy food from the assorted vendors and try their luck at Crown and Anchor.
On Friday afternoon long lines had formed at each of the event's entrances, but outside of the Crown and Anchor tent the event appeared less densely packed than usual.
Allan Burchall said: “This is the biggest party of the year. Everyone comes, you see people you haven't seen in years. That's Cup Match.
“It's about the people and the music and the food. A lot of people don't even watch the game.”
While the game was greeted with sunny weather on Thursday, occasional showers on Friday caused play to stop and sent spectators running for shelter.
Larissa Bruce said that while the rain was inconvenient, it provided some temporary relief from the heat.
“Between the weather and the crowds of people, Cup Match always seems to be ridiculously hot,” she said. “As long as it doesn't start coming down hard like it did earlier, I think it'll be fine.”
With the home team behind after the first day of play, some Somerset supporters joked that St George's fans were hoping the rain would spare them the pain of a loss.
Michael Roberts said: “St George's have been praying for rain all day, but if they think this is going to stop Somerset they are mistaken.
“I've been coming to the games every year since I was a kid. I come to see Somerset win, and so far I'm not disappointed.”
Alice Dobson however said she was confident St George's was going to regain control of the cup.
“It's our home turf. Last year was bad, but this year we're taking it back,” she said. “There's still time to pick it up.”
While she said she goes to Cup Match every year, she prefers when the event is in St George's.
“It's great to see the east end so busy,” she said. “We keep on hearing this stuff about St George's being a ghost town, so to come up here and see people everywhere is great.”
Others, like Don Franks, said they were just hoping for a definitive winner this year.
“It seems like it's always a draw,” he said. “I don't really care too much about who wins, as long as someone actually wins.”
However at the end of play yesterday evening, the game was ruled a draw with Somerset holding on to the trophy.
James Whitestone, visiting the Island from New York, said he learned about Cup Match just before his trip.
“I honestly don't know the first think about cricket. I've had about seven people explain it to me, but it's just not clicking,” he said. “I worked out Crown and Anchor though. So far it's only cost be about $20.
“I've had a great time so far. Everyone's really friendly, there's a really awesome atmosphere, like tailgating back home. I'm already thinking about flying back next year.”