Sunday’s 2017 Royal Salute Coronation Cup turned conventional wisdom on its head—and gave defending champion GT Commonwealth Bank a migraine in the process. Flannels England demolished Commonwealth 7-1 Sunday at Guard's Polo Club in the 26-goal contest. It was quite a flip-flop from last year’s balanced match, which Commonwealth won by one goal.
This year the boys from Britain came toting a new weapon: Luke Tomlinson. He has had a hot season and made it to the Cartier Queen’s Cup final with La Indiana. New to Commonwealth’s roster this year was another 6-goaler, Dirk Gould.
Try as they might, Commonwealth just couldn’t overcome the chemistry of England. Tomlinson and England captain James Beim wrote the script in the first chukker, each contributing a goal and holding Commonwealth scoreless—which is pretty much what happened all day. England’s James Harper scored twice in the next chukker, once on a tremendous cut shot with Commonwealth captain Fred Mannix chasing him down. J.P. Clarkin made Commonwealth’s only goal of the day, ending the first half 4-1 for England.
England continued their rampage in the second half. It opened with Beim launching a pass to Harper, who scored. The pair continued to dominate a game that for anyone with a shred of mercy was painful to watch. Harper made a killer angled back shot to stretch England’s lead 6-1. Teammate Max Charlton took off on a breakaway of his own, outracing and outmaneuvering Commonwealth players to knock in a goal to end the chukker 7-1, which stood as the final score.
Harper, game high-scorer with three goals and a major part of Commonwealth’s demise, received the Most Valuable Player award. Clarkin's “Magpie” took home the ROR Best Playing Pony award, given to the best playing retrained racehorse of the match.
Photos (c) Images of Polo