What are YOU doing over Cup Match 2014?

Thursday morning in Bermuda on a beautiful sunny day with gentle breezes wafting the hot air; azure blue seas sparkling all around us, and poincianas still in bloom. Nothing out of the ordinary except  -  It’s Cup Match week and the Island is hopping. Thousands of people headed up to Somerset this morning to catch the start of our annual two day cricket game between Somerset and St. George’s,  while many more are camping along the South Shore beaches  and on every spare patch of ground with a little shade and easy access to a beach. 


Two former Cup Match greats
Noel Gibbons and Jeff Richardson at Somerset Cricket Field
(photo courtesy of Royal Gazette)
 

Literally the whole Island is shut down for these two magical days, and you can be sure we come to a complete stop for the whole weekend – except for the grocery stores and liquor stores now opening on Saturday and Sunday so we can all replenish our supplies.

Perhaps another exception is the Police who have to deal with drink induced accidents and domestics!

These days we can even sit at home and watch the cricket on television, a far cry from 1902 when the official Cup Match was held despite the fact that it wasn’t a public holiday but was taken as two days off to celebrate the abolition of slavery back in 1834.  Thursday is Emanciaption Day and  Friday is Somers Day – the historical day in 1609 when Sir George Somers ship, Sea Venture, was wrecked off the reefs in St. George’s which later led to the first settlement of Bermuda.

Practically everyone in Bermuda has his or her favourite team – either blue and blue (St. George’s) or red and blue (Somerset) with my preference being blue and blue because when I first arrived here in 1964 I worked with both Neville Darrell and the late Marcus Packwood, both of whom played in the St George’s team, although I might also have been influenced by the fact that the blue and blues had a tremendous team starring the likes of Cal “Bummy” Simons, Clarence “Tuppence” Parfitt, and Rupert Scotland. 

I’m already glued to the radio listening to ball by ball commentary while my wife is busy in the kitchen cooking up a storm ready for when we get together here in our Flatts home for an invasion of family and friends this afternoon and this evening.  Sadly, I miss the “Voice of Cricket” himself, Jim Woolridge,  who had now retired from commentating but will undoubtedely be listening to his radio or watching it on TV.

But enough of my Cup Match plans!  Last night I wondered what all of our former colleagues around the world might be doing during this Cup Match weekend.  You probably don’t have Thursday and Friday off, but I wonder if our Bermudians who live abroad such as Terry Cabral and Stanley Hill still follow the game, and whether any of you might even bring out the Goslings Black Seal and toast those Bermuda memories with a “dark and stormy”.

Whatever you are doing, please free to write in and let us know where you are and what you are doing this weekend.  We would love to hear from you.  You can either write in the “comments” section below this article, or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will post your comments on the website.

We also wonder how many former police officers can you remember who played in Cup Match?*

Cheers
Roger Sherratt

Just to get you in the mood you can check out the following Royal Gazette articles about this years Cup Match, and several articles about the history of Cup Match:-

Cup Match: History behind the Holiday by Larry Burchall in Bernews (CLICK HERE)

Bermuda Cricket Cup Match at Bermuda-Attractions.com CLICK HERE

St. George’s ditch youth policy (RG 28/7/14)  CLICK HERE

Best of Friends worst of enemies RG 30/7/14) CLICK HERE

Cup Match is finally here. How the teams match up, by Clay Smith  (RG 30/7/14) CLICK HERE

Lunch  first day: Somerset in Control (RG 31/7/14)  CLICK HERE

The first day of Cup Match certainly had more than it's share of swings and roundabouts.  Somerset were in the ascendancy at lunch, but the gane swung in favour of St. George's later in the day. Read all about it in today's Royal Gazette , and  the Bernews reports below.   We "blue and blues" are smiling for the first time in a while, but this match is far from over!

First day: O'Brien relives the joy of six (RG 31/7/14) CLICK HERE

Live Blog Updates from first days play on Bernews  CLICK HERE

For most of the second day it looked as though this years' Cup Match would go down to the wire,  but Somerset's batting was much too strong and the Cup winners won with ease thanks to a magnificent 121 not out from Terryn Fray.

Final Result : Fray hundred fires Somerset to thumping win   (RG 1/8/14) CLICK HERE

2nd August

We have received the following email from Ray Sousa in Australia

Hello Roger, 
Excellent item on Cup Match.  As a kid Cup Match, like Easter,  meant new clothes.  I also enjoyed the matches, although we often got caught in heavy showers of rain. I am sure Cup Match was the true traditional start of some Bermudians feeling black and proud.  Having said that I question if white businesses were not the true winners, due to the amount of liquor, food and clothes purchased at the time.  I know in my family a small fortune was spent each year.
As a Police Officer, I often wondered what would happen if the crowd in a state ofdrunkenness  rioted ! How  would we handle it ?  Fortunately we were never tested, however on one occasion things got a bit dicey. I came across a very large abusive, man with a stick in his hand surrounded by Officers.  An anti-Police crowd was there.  I hadpreviously arrested the giant, during which we had both received minor injuries.  I requested the officers to step back, [ much to the annoyance of Senior Officers there].  I then told the offender to put down the stick or one of us would end up in the hospital, or even the morgue. " Please keep that crazy bastard away from me ", came the reply.  The stick was put down and the man agreed to leave the ground with me following him ensuring he did.  Needless to say the Senior Officers made it clear they were not happy with my conduct; but I gained a bit of respect from the Locals.  The most important thing was no-one was hurt.
As stated, I enjoyed the colour and atmosphere of Cup Match.  One disappointment was that only blacks played in the teams.  If a few good white cricketers had taken part, I believe it would have helped break down race barriers that existed at the time.
All the best for now,
RAY SOUSA

 7th August 2014

List of Police Officers who have played in Cup Match 

We are keen to compile a comprehensive list of every police officer who has ever played in Cup Match.  We will also do our best to obtain photos of each player and some information about them.

Just to get the ball rolling (excuse the pun), I would like to start with a player who only played once, in 1960 for St. George.  Marcus Packwood joined the Bermuda Police in June 1961 and served for just 4 years before he died, much too young, in August 1965 after a short illness.  Marcus was not a Cup Match star by any means but he was a good bowler who played for the Police team and was an exceptionally nice guy and a pleasure to work with.

 

 


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Paul Singh
I also think that Erskine "Choe" smith played as well!!
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Dot Midgley
Dear Roger saw that the late Anthony (Sonny) Roberts name was mention. I've been into Ira Philips note book and there is an article about Sonny Roberts . Although its about his funeral there is also information about his life and his time playing cricket. Dot xEditors note - Many thanks Dot. I've been meaning to speak with Ira about our website and this will provide me with a good reason for doing so. He is a mine of information.
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Dot Midgley
Firstly still blue and blue at heart.Re history of the game.I googled history of cup match then logged into statistics and then into 100 years of cupmatch stats- presented by hiscox.Plenty of information about so many players runs/ start date / finish dates/ bowling. It helped me when doing my research.Editors note - Agreed. This is an excellent site which is located at http://www.bermudacupmatch.com/history and appears to be sponsored by Hiscox and HSBC. We will be writing more about Cup Match and the list of former police officers who played in it but it may take a few weeks.In the meantime we would be delighted to hear details of anyone who can add information about family members who served in the Police Force and who played in Cup Match.
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Dot. Midgley
My uncle Julian O'Brien died in 1949. I was only 3yrs old. I will ask one of his family members. As other pictures of my father will have to ask around.May be Ira Philip can help out there. Will let you know if I come up with any. Dot xThanks Dot. Maybe it's best you missed Cup Match this year as the result did not suit us "blue and blues"! My daughter still hasn't got over it!
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Dot Midgley
Forgot to mention that my father Austin Simons worked on the police force before he crossed over to the prison service. Not sure what year but will try and find out from a family member.Editors note - As mentioned in an earlier post, we had been given Austin "Toes" Simons name by Campbell Simons, and we would appreciate any more information about his involvement in Cup Match.
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Dot Midgley
I have researched about family members that played in cup-matched. The only ones that I know of that served on the police force was my late uncle Julian O'BRIEN Simons. HE PLAYED FROM 1927 - 1939 . My father Austin Simons (Prison Officer ) played from 1939-1950. The first family member to play was in 1902. The Simons brothers were classified as the most outstanding players for Somerset cricket team. O'Brien - Elliot- Arthur- Austin - and Ambrose.Editors note - Many, many thanks Dot. We already had your father, Austin "Toes" Simons, on our list courtesy of Campbell Simons who has provided us with excellent information about former policemen who played Cup Match, but his memory did not extend as far back as your uncle (Julian) O'Brien Simons with good reason! Campbell wash;t born when O'Brien last played in Cup Match. Will soon publish the names we have so far, and we would like to obtain photos of each player. Could you check your family archives and see if you can find photos of your Uncle O'Brien, and your father in cricket gear.
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mike cherry
Sgt Anthony "Sonny" Roberts i think in 1952
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Dot midgley
We will be out and about with the grand children but will be logging into bernews.com to see what is happening with my team Blue and Blue before the night is out. Dot MidgleyEditors note - Hi Dot. Will try to keep up with the cricket news but St. George's doing very well so far. How about briefly describing what you're doing over this Cup March weekend.
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Davie Kerr
We're dog-sitting a friend's Malemute (a big oompy dog that looks very like a husky on steroids!) for the weekend, and hoping for some good weather to take her down to the shore for a swim (her, not us!).Former Police Cup Match players:- Neville Darrell, Campbell Simons, Adrian King, Tyrone Smith and Bob Hinds are the only ones who come to mind from my years in the job, although there have doubtless been others.....Anyway, regardless of who wins, Happy and Safe Cup Match to you all!

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