WEDNESDAY, JULY 25: Cup Match has been a part of Bermuda’s history for more than 100 years. Fans flock to the game year after year, whether it’s in Somerset or St George’s.
They set up camps with friends and family and enjoy the festivities.
But maybe you haven’t been to the game in years and don’t think you are missing anything. Or maybe you would rather hit the beach.
Now as a die-hard St George’s fan, I never miss Cup Match and will loudly proclaim my adoration for my team.
Here are a dozen reasons on why you should pack a bag and head to Somerset next Thursday and/or Friday.
1. To watch the opening ball
This is a tradition for many people, my Nana included.
Cricket fans make their way to either the ground first thing in the morning to watch the start of the game, which gets the event underway.
Typically, it’s die-hard cricket fans who watch the first ball.
2. Crown and Anchor
For some people, this is single best reason for attending the game. It’s one of the few occasions on which you can legally gamble in Bermuda.
Try your luck and hope the dice rolls in your favour.
And if not, at least you will be ‘watered’ for free by the hosts of the table!
3. The Food
Cup Match is the best time for food vendors to showcase their specialties
I’m a fish person and I make it my goal to find the best possible fish to dunk in tartar sauce.
But there are many items on offer, including the popular conch fritters, jerk chicken, burgers, hot dogs, snowballs and so much more.
Good luck in finding the best stall.
4. The Fashion
People-watching is probably almost as popular as watching the game.
Most attendees come out dressed to the nines for the day.
You will see outrageous fashion, trendy outfits and classic pieces on both men and women.
Make sure you are dressed to impress!
5. Visiting the other end of the island
Or should I say, ‘reminding yourself what the other end of the island looks like’?
I don’t know about you, but as a St George’s girl, I rarely drive past town, let alone head all the way to Somerset.
Cup Match is the one time, every other year, that I spend a good bit of time in the west end.
And I must say, I usually have a great time.
6. Learn more about the game
Many people go to the game and have no idea what is going on, aside from when someone hits a boundary or makes a clear catch.
Cup Match is the prime time to brush up on your cricket knowledge.
There will always be someone nearby who can explain what a duck, a six, leg by or LBW mean.
7. Friendly banter
Everyone knows the rivalry between Somerset fans and St George’s fans builds up steadily as Cup Match gets closer.
Many families are split by their loyalty to one team.
Thank God, everyone in my family — aside from my Papa — are St George’s fans.
Banter is a huge part of the enjoyment of the whole weekend and gets taken up a notch in the atmosphere of the game.
8. Familiar faces
Even though Bermuda is just 21 square miles, we can go months, even years without seeing people.
Cup Match is when it seems that everyone comes out of the woodwork to join the festivities.
From your aunts, cousins, high school friends and many more, you are bound to bump into a few people who may have fallen off your radar.
9. Frozen Dark ‘n’ Stormies
Cup Match is the only time this popular drink is sold frozen.
It’s sort of like a slushy, but a million times better because it has black rum and ginger beer.
And while we are on the topic of alcohol, it seems to be freer flowing at Cup Match, with far too many bars to count and everyone enjoying the revelry.
10. Family fun
For the most part, Cup Match is one of the few truly family friendly sporting events in Bermuda.
There are many fun things for kids to do, including watching the game.
There are many stalls set up with kids’ trinkets and activities, plenty to keep them entertained.
Plus most young kids enjoy cricket, especially the boys.
11. Bounce from camp to camp
Everyone knows at least one person who has a camp set up at the game.
Hopping from camp to camp is one of the best ways to enjoying the festivities.
Most of the time, the hosts will feed and water you and there’s bound to be music blasting.
12. Watching your team win the Cup
There is nothing better than cheering loudly when your team wins the game.
The celebrations and festivities that follow after the last ball is bowled are nothing short of amazing.
Everyone runs onto the field and the look of sheer joy covers everyone’s faces (aside from the Somerset fans, of course...)
It is truly the most magical part of the weekend.
Hopefully I’ve given you enough reasons to head out west for the game this year.
Go St George’s!