Fiercely fought and high scoring International
The Townsend Cup is a 20 goal bi-annual tournament, which in 2013 the Brit boys secured victory only to lose it in 2015 to the USA 17 goals to 12. This year the prestigious match took place on Saturday 14 January at West World’s Equidome, Arizona, during the first weekend of the 46th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, with the England team no doubt aiming for success over the pond in what became a very competitive display of high goal polo, in which both teams fought fiercely until the final whistle.
The match began in favour of England, with an early score in the first chukka, however USA’s Krueger quickly answered – a pattern which prevailed throughout the match. Townsend Cup veteran Tommy Biddle Jr kicked-off the second chukka with an impressive backhand goal, bringing the score to 7-3 much to the delight of the 1,500 strong crowd. However England weren’t happy to go down without a fight and Charlton retaliated with three consecutive goals in the first three minutes, followed by two further goals later in the chukka. Yet, even this impressive goal scoring spree wasn’t enough to secure a lead, as USA parried each goal with a reply, resulting in a 10-8 lead in favour of USA at half-time.
The second half began in a similar style, with yet another goal from USA’s Krueger answered by a goal from Charlton, followed by another goal to tie the scores 11-11. A goal from Ed Banner-Eve stole the lead for the UK, but an attempt by Jonny Good to clear the ball from infront of the UK goalmouth unfortunately resulted in a goal for USA and the scores once again level going into the final chukka.
Keen to reassert their dominance, the UK swiftly pulled ahead, but the combination of Biddle Jr, Krueger and Rice proved to be too tough to trump, and so The Townsend Trophy once again remained on US soil with a final score of 18-16. For his efforts in the success of his team, Steve Krueger was named Most Valuable Player.
Townsend Cup Teams:
England (22): Jonny Good (8), Max Charlton (9) & Ed Banner Eve (5) w/ Michael Amoore (Coach)
USA (21): Tommy Biddle Jr (10), Shane Rice (7) & Steve Krueger (4)
Photograph: USA once again defeated England in The Townsend Cup. By Elizabeth Hedley