Argentina reasserts their domination of the game in a 13-8 win over England in Coronation Cup play
It was a confident English team (Ollie Cudmore, Mark Tomlinson, James Beim and Luke Tomlinson) that took the field Saturday afternoon at the Guards Polo Club in Coronation Cup play as they faced the top two ranked players in the game in Argentina’s 10-goalers, Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres.
England received one goal by handicap from the Argentine contingent (Julio Ruggeri, Francisco Belaustegui, Facundo Pieres and Adolfo Cambiaso), and quickly added to it on a short penalty conversion from James Beim, 2-0. Facundo Pieres scored on a pass from Adolfo Cambiaso to cut the lead back to a single goal, 2-1. Luke Tomlinson put England up by two goals with a penalty conversion to end the first chukker on top, 3-1.
Argentina wasted little time getting back into the game with Francisco Belaustegui scoring the first goal of the second chukker to cut the English lead back to a single goal, 3-2. Efforts to stem the onrush of the Argentine attack resulted in penalties that send Pieres to the line. Converting from 40 and 30-yards, Pieres first tied England, 3-3 and then took the lead on a 30-yard penalty conversion, 4-3 to end the chukker.
The pressure mounted on the English defenders in the third. Pieres scored the first goal of the chukker followed by a goal from Julio Ruggeri for a 6-3 advantage. A 60-yard penalty conversion by Pieres had Argentina in the lead by four goals, 7-3 before England could respond. An Argentine foul allowed England to get on the scoreboard with Mark Tomlinson converting from 40-yard out, 7-4. Pieres took the goal back moments later with a 40-yard penalty goal of his own. The first half ended with Argentina comfortably on top of an 8-4 lead.
England refocused themselves during the halftime break and returned to the field with a vengeance in the fourth chukker. Beim scored the first goal of the chukker on a fine play from the field followed by a 40-yard penalty conversion from Mark Tomlinson. Suddenly England had closed the gap to two goals, 8-6. Pieres, however, showed some magic as he closed out the chukker with a great individual effort to score and keep Argentina in front, 9-6.
Beim demonstrated international talent in the fifth by sending a rocket of a pass ahead to Mark Tomlinson for a goal, cutting the Argentine lead back to a manageable two goals, 9-7. Argentina picked up the pace with Pieres converting a 30-yard penalty shot that gave Argentina a three goal advantage, 10-7. Cambiaso scored the final goal of the period, giving Argentina a four goal advantage, 11-7, as the players rode of the field to remount for the final chukker of the day.
England continued to press, with Mark Tomlinson converting his third penalty shot of the day (30-yards) to cut the Argentine lead to three goals, 11-8, but time was running short. Francisco Belaustegui found himself on the receiving end of a well-placed pass from Cambiaso and carried the ball through the goal posts tapping it in the air three times to make it 12-8. England continued to press, but they were being clearly out-played. Pieres put the final nail in the coffin for Argentina on a 60-yard penalty conversion for the 13-8 final.
Pieres led all scoring with nine goals and received MVP honors for his efforts. Belaustegui scored twice with Cambiaso and Ruggeri adding single goals for the win. Mark Tomlinson scored four goals for England (three on penalty shots). Beim added two goals and Luke Tomlinson added a goal (penalty goal) in a losing effort.
Cambiaso’s seven-year-old mare, Yun Yun, was honored as Best Playing Pony.