Either way you spin it, at the end of the day, the coveted Cup Match Trophy remains with the Somerset Cricket Club, where it has been for the past six years, despite the two-day match that ended in a draw.
This year’s 115th Annual Cup Match Classic saw a full day of heavy rain on the first day, followed by a final day of play in the high heat of the sun.
Despite a downturn in attendance on Thursday, several food stall operators and those running Bermuda’s so-called stock exchange – the Crown and Anchor tables, reported two days of brisk business. By the time it was all over, spectators gathered for the presentation just before nightfall.
Premier David Burt, a Somerset fan, told the crowd that he was pleased that “despite the rain we were able to have a good day of cricket”. Also on hand, after his Cup Match on the island, was Bermuda’s new Governor, John Rankin.
“Thank you for what has been my first Cup Match with excellent cricket in a wonderful atmosphere,” he said. While noting that he has watched cricket in several countries around the world, he said: “I’ve never seen such a good atmosphere as I’ve seen here today in the best spirit of sportsmanship.” He also congratulated SCC and wished St George’s well in the next match as we..
Outgoing SCC President Alfred Maybury said: “I’m happy that despite the rain yesterday, I figured somebody, somewhere on the island needed some water, so God gave us water and sunshine today.”
He congratulated the home team “for staying in there and holding up right through to the end”. He also congratulated SCC’s lead coach, together with Michael Corday and Mark Trott, as the architects of Somerset’s building plan that developed into the strong team that SCC has grown to be.
“These guys came together after we lost in 2011 and no one has touched us since,” said Mr Maybury, who steps down this year.
“So while we have retained the cup we know when you come to Somerset we’re going to win the cup again. This year is my last year as the President, so I will become a spectator next year and watch.” He also thanked the spectators. “Bermuda it’s because of you that we have success.”
St George’s Cricket Club President Neil Paynter wished him well in his “future endeavors”, and congratulated “for putting up the challenge”. he also thanked Clayton Raynor, the club’s chief groundsman and his crew, the umpires and the event’s sponsors.
Mr Paynter also told the crowd that Chris Douglas was selected for this year’s recipient of the Polaris Man of the Match Award, which will be presented in due course.
“Cup Match is uniquely Bermudian,” said Mr Paynter. “We come together to celebrate emancipation, we had rain, but did that deter us – no! One thing that happened today was Bermudians enjoyed Cup Match and I thank everyone for coming out to St George’s Cricket Club today,” he added.
The club’s new skipper Macai Simmons said: “Although it didn’t go the way we wanted it to happen – that’s cricket. Congratulations to Chris Douglas for his first 50 in Cup Match – well done! To the SCC team he said: “We are coming to take that cup next year and spoil your parade.”
In spite of the rain on Thursday he said: “Yesterday proved to me exactly what Cup Match is all about. There was no cricket but you would’ve never guess there was no cricket,” he said.
To the opponents first-time captain, he said: “Macai I was in your shoes last year so I just want to commend you. To my team – well done, and to Chris, it was nine years in the making – congratulations to you for your first 50 and MVP this year.”
Now that it’s all over, once again, there’s another 364 days before the much coveted trophy will become the focal point of the next two-day classic to be held at the SCC next year.