Somerset’s oldest living ex Cupmatch Player Mr Eugene “Buck” Woods believes that while Cup Match is still a very special occasion it has evolved.
Reflecting back to the mid 50’s when he first played Woods recalls “we had around ten thousand people every day because it was a family event.” Referring to the fact that families used to travel by train to watch the game he said, “people flocked to Cup Match by train, would stay the duration of the match and spend a few days after the game with their families because the transportation was such that you didn’t see family very often.”
Woods is not too bothered by how the event has evolved with the use of scaffolding but clearly remembers the Lopes’ Garden end of Somerset Cricket Club Field, “there were wooden seats from east to west and they held three to four thousand people. The rest of the field had umbrellas around it and people would come a couple days before the match to stake (their spots) and stay overnight. Someone was always there to protect the spots. Now we have scaffolding, times have changed and that’s where we are now.”
Woods, who has roots in Saba and played professional cricket at Penzance Cricket Club for nearly three years, believes Somerset can win Cup Match this year, “we have a 65% chance of winning this year,” he predicted when asked about the chance of a result.
He is happy about the team selected and is very fond of the job that Jeff Richardson has done rebuilding it. Woods does feel, however, that it is important to keep developing young players, “we need to keep picking a couple young players every year to enhance the team going forward.”
Woods played for Somerset in the Classic in 1953 the from 1956 – 61.
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