The Hurlingham Polo Association hosted the annual International test match for the mighty Coronation Cup at Guards Polo Club in the U.K. Billed as "the best game ever", this year’s edition saw the Commonwealth team led by Canadian Fred Mannix triumph over England in an epic match by 12-11 goals. The teams were level at half-time but England, led by James Beim, went ahead 8-7 for the first time in the fourth chukkar, thanks to goals from Jack Richardson and Beim. However, this just seemed to spur the Commonwealth team on further and they scored three goals which gave them a two-goal advantage which included a cheeky back shot to goal by Hissam Hyder, the first player from Pakistan to compete in a Coronation Cup.
The Commonwealth’s success was also due to some brilliant defensive play from the young South African Chris Mackenzie, who was there to stop an England attack and was named the M.V.P. for his efforts. As the sixth chukkar began, Mannix successfully converted a penalty in the beginning, but it was England who dominated as the clock ticked down. Both Beim and James Harper who was making his Coronation Cup debut shot through a goal each to bring the home side back into contention. But time was against them and with the bell ringing out and the scoreboard reading 12-11, it was victory for the Commonwealth team.
After the match Stephen Hutchinson, Chairman of the HPA, said, “Congratulations to the GT Bank Commonwealth team for their victory here today. Fred Mannix Jr. and his fellow Commonwealth players provided us with an impressive display of teamwork and individual play and justly deserved to lift the very special Royal Salute Coronation Cup”.
COMMONWEALTH (27): Hissam Ali Hyder (6), Chris Mackenzie (6), John Paul Clarkin (7) & Fred Mannix (8)
ENGLAND (26): Jack Richardson (6), Max Charlton (7), James Beim (7) & James Harper (6)