Tommy Biddle, Jr. keeps on racking up the frequent flier miles as his itinerary found him in Inidio, Calif. on Saturday at the Empire Polo Club, captaining the U.S. team in the 23-goal Townsend Challenge Cup. Biddle, Jr. at 10 goals in the arena, and only the fourth player to achieve that handicap rating, played with a team whose roster featured Rob Yackley and Billy Sheldon.
However, in a heartbreaking loss, the U.S. fell to England 11-10 in overtime. Biddle, Jr. paced the U.S. team with 7 goals, scoring the game’s last two goals to send the contest into sudden death.
The U.S. roster was originally to be composed of Biddle, Jr., Yackley and Kris Kampsen, but scheduling conflicts precluded Kampsen from playing. The U.S. didn’t have the benefit of playing together previously, something that the team from England has done for the past few months. It was the first time Biddle and Yackley have played with Sheldon.
“The English team played really well,” said Biddle, Jr., in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. “We just couldn’t get over the hump.”
Biddle is playing with a team familiar to Aiken polo fans, Goose Creek, the winner of the 2007 and 2008 Silver Cup, in the 20 goal Joe Barry Memorial Cup at International Polo Club, Wellington, Fla. Goose Creek raised its record to 2-0 in the tournament Wednesday afternoon, with a 10-9 victory over ERG. Goose Creek’s Kris Kampsen scored the game winner in the match’s last five seconds. Biddle, Jr. is playing with Maureen Brennan, Luis Escobar and Kampsen. Biddle, Jr. added two goals in the victory. Aiken’s Welsey Bryan, subsituting for an injured Scott Wood on ERG, picked up a goal.
“I’m happy to get the opportunity to play with them,” said Biddle, Jr. “We line up well. It’s great to play with Maureen. We’ve always played against each other.”
Goose Creek started the tournament off with a 12-11 overtime victory over a tough Lechuza Caracas team featuring Aiken’s Adam Snow. Biddle, Jr. scored four times in the win.
“We were fortunate to be able to pull out the win against Lechuza,” said Biddle, Jr. “Either team could have won. We lucked out. Both teams played well.”