Point Leaves Relegation Threat Pending For CD Tenerife

Plodding and predictable CD Tenerife failed to cash in their get out of jail card with a 1-1 home draw against Alcorcon who were down to ten men just before half time. Once again pre match talk of attack, attack, attack wasn’t matched by the squad selection, and I was dismayed at the lack of striking options on the bench.

Alcorcon hadn’t read the script and crashed in a second minute goal thanks to some weak defending, a cross in from near the right corner took out three defenders leaving Nagore to head the ball into the goal. That left a huge mountain to climb with Diego Ifran out injured and Abdon Prats taking his place alongside the industrious Maxi. In defence Hugo Alvarez covered for suspended Carlos Ruiz but the visitors, with faint hopes of a promotion play off place, decided to employ spoiling tactics to try to sit on their lead for 88 minutes. It was the most cynical display of diving, rolling, and time wasting that the Heliodoro has witnessed.

Having said that, it was down to Tenerife to grab the game by the danglies and make things happen, the 8,771 crowd did their bit with a constant wall of noise. Juan Carlos had another poor game, he lost the ball in a threatening position early on and just faded away. Suso was fired up but the Alcorcon defence, especially Nagore were crudely effective. Maxi made some good breaks, the goalie came out well to deny his best chance, and Vitolo looked through on goal when a harsh offside call hauled him back.

The first half was draining away when Abdon lobbed a lovely ball into the box, Maxi tried to chest it under control but was clattered by Verdes, he went off for his second card and Vitolo converted the spot kick to add hope to the half time break. That’s when a look at our subs told a sorry tale, Aridane was the only other forward, Cristo Gonzalez had scored again for the B team the day before and would have been an obvious choice in our perilous position.

 

So 45 minutes against ten men, surely CDT could take this. The chances came but the finishing was not up to scratch, Suso skinned two defenders but couldn’t get the ball to the waiting Maxi. Abdon Prats poked a chance wide before making way for Aridane, the other predictable change of Cristo Martin for Juan Carlos didn’t offer the key either. Aridane missed out on a rebound, Suso missed from outside the area, and Cristo put a shot into the side netting. Aitor Sanz should have been subbed, in added time he tried to trade up his earlier yellow card by diving into a melee of players. Dani Hernandez raced up the pitch and bear hugged his hot headed team mate away before it could get out of hand. We might be grateful for the point in the final reckoning but if we go down this is the game that many will point to as our downfall.

 

Cheers For Local Brews In Tenerife

Much as I enjoy my Dorada, I do miss British style ales but a visit to the new Mercado Parque La Reina tweaked my taste buds with a stall full of bottled craft beers brewed mainly in Tenerife. It would have been rude not to try them so I took two samples home (2.50 euros each) for a mini tasting session.

I had heard about Tierra de Perros pale ale from a Los Realejos team, the name “land of dogs” refers to the Canary Islands name, it was based on the wild canines that roamed the islands rather than those chirpy yellow birds that Delia Smith likes. What a nice taste this one had, the dark amber 4.8 % went down a treat, a good session beer. I could see a crate of these launching me gently down a slippery slope until waking up in a skip with a traffic cone on my head – well we’ve all been there – haven’t we?

Even more impressive was a co-ordinated range from Chutney in La Laguna. They had three bottles all named after criminals, Albert Spagliarri chocolate stout was inspired by a famous French burglar, and Willie Sutton American Pale Ale was a tip of the glass to a light fingered American thief. I took home the Ronnie Biggs Brown Ale a 5.5 % bottle based on a classic London Brown ale an jolly nice it was too. Toasted caramel and chocolate made an appearance and even the head shared the pleasing colour.

There were other craft brews from further a field at the market stall. La Socarrada at 6% will draw me back to Parque La Reina at a later date. Brewed in Valencia it’s flavoured with rosemary, and rosemary honey, sounds good. Another reason to return is the 4.8 % El Boqueron, also from Valencia but made using sea water which apparently increases the purity and makes it pretty much hangover free. Mind you if you really wanted a hangover there was always the wine, Cava, and rice liquor on offer.

All this reminds me I must have another trip up to El Sauzal and the Tacoa German micro brewery and restaurant, that’s a real treat for the home sick beer fan but quite a way to wobble back home.

Granadilla Tenerife Sur Have One Foot In The Promotion Final

Womens football came of age in El Medano as Granadilla Tenerife Sur stormed to a 3-0 win over Levante Las Planas in the first leg of their promotion semifinal. The ultimate prize is a place in Spain’s Primera and GTS showed they have the hunger, the skill, and the passion to make it.

The home changing room was bouncing pre game as the ladies sang their inspirational songs and they clattered down the terrace steps to be welcomed by an 1,800 crowd. Granadilla attacked from the start with Maria Jose Perez (lime boots) showing attacking flair that would have made cousin Ayoze proud. Carla Gomez, one of three late reinforcements from Catalan side San Gabriel, gave good support and when Levante managed a break away goalie Pili was sharp with a clean catch of a high ball.

Silvia went close with a rasping drive for the home side and Maria Jose deserved better from a great turn with her back to goal before unleashing a testing shot. The opening goal came after 30 minutes from a raid down the left by Maria Jose who slipped a perfect cross to Reichel to beat the keeper. The crowd around the artificial pitch erupted, the extra few hundred perched on walls overlooking the ground joined in, and even the passengers on the constant flow of low flying airplanes must have felt some extra turbulence.

On the stroke of half time there was a scare with Levante bearing down on goal but Pili punched clear to avert the danger. Reichel opened the second half with a decent attempt on goal and Marilen gave way to sub Ana who added some extra power in attack. Continued pressure paid off for Granadilla after 63 minutes as Ana scored a well worked individual goal. The visitors were visibly shaken and started to wilt, they were clearly struggling with the evening heat and had few answers to a determined home team. Reichel curled in a teasing shot that just cleared the Levante bar but with the away leg in Valencia to come GTS needed another goal.

It was fitting that the games outstanding player Maria Jose Perez grabbed what could prove to be the decisive goal in the tie. As another wave of pressure pinned back Levante Maria Jose left the defence in tatters to bury the ball in the net. The celebration of the home players showed how much that three goal margin meant to them. It’s not all over yet, the return fixture in a weeks time needs to be treated with caution if Granadilla Tenerife Sur are to go one stage further than last year. It was a job well done and with confidence on their side few would bet against GTS making it through to a glorious two legged final.

To Market To Market At Parque La Reina

There’s something very appealing about food as naked as the day it was born, grown, or uprooted. I can’t resist a dig around a traditional market and in Tenerife we have some lovely farmers markets selling fresh produce direct to the public. Meet the newest addition, Mercado Parque La Reina, just a short bus ride from my Los Cristianos home.

The near 40 degrees heat wave was making the whirling ceiling fans work overtime in the large hanger type building, only opened a few months ago. Tucked away near the Titsa bus garage and just shy of the Karting Tenerife track it was well laid out in tidy rows but not very busy on my mid morning visit. A large fish stall just inside was piled high with my much needed brain food adding a nice whiff to the air. At the other end a big butchers stall was equally loaded with enough cattle to start a stampede.

The full range of local fruit and veg was laid out along the main aisles but I was looking for a few surprises – and found them. Moringa and Maqui stood either side of red beetroot in packs of powdered raw and organic superfoods, and black allium garlic promised high contents of potassium and zinc.  A glorious spray of mushrooms was growing off a large off cut of branch and was being lovingly sprayed with water to keep it perky – well it works for me.

There were some fine blooms of flowers and a table groaning with jars of flavoured teas like Ginseng, Green Wakame-Ginkgo, and Gunpowder tea – not to taken after a curry. I was glad to see chocolate almonds out in force, always a favourite, but most of all I was impressed with a stall full of bottled craft beers from Tenerife and beyond. I bought a couple to road test at home – they will get their own blog post to do them justice. There was a stall over the other side of the hall offering Cava, and rice liquor.

I had a chat with a few of the stall holders, all were helpful and keen but a little frustrated at the lack of customers, that’s where you all come in. They have free Wi Fi and a kids play area, free parking, and open 8am to 3 pm every day except Monday. It’s a worthy addition to the growing trend of direct selling and is of course helping local producers to fight back against the pile it high, sell it cheap, supermarkets.

Stage A Play In 10 Days On A Fun, Creative Journey

After performing, directing, and choreographing with Circo Soleil, Italia Conti, and the cream of UK theatre, Mandi Ashwood is ready to share her secret with Tenerife youngsters. The performing arts are fun, and as diverse as the imagination, that’s why she is mixing elements of all the stage crafts in a series of summer performing arts schools for just 20 euros a day.

There’s no star culture, no rigid formats, and no competing against your new friends and performers. The Best Tenerife hotel in Playa de Las Americas is the venue and it will be transformed into two stages, one inside and one in the open air as flexible daily sessions from 9 am to 5 pm lead up to a performance in front of family and friends. Separate age groups featuring 7 to 10 year old, 11 to 13’s, and 14 years plus will give everyone the chance to realise their potential with full professional teaching, props, and 3,000 costume choices.

Mandi has been involved in the big high profile shows at top venues like the Royal Albert Hall and her passion and knowledge will see her draw on music, acting, mime, circus and all other aspects of stage work. The key to it all is enjoyment, developing skills, and awakening new interests. The full four star range of leisure facilities at the Best Tenerife Hotel will be available for the young performers under responsible supervision.

Flicking through Mandi’s career CV and photos on the website www.lives2perform.com is like a tour of the most innovative and exciting aspects of theatre, music, and dance. Using her passion for performance and decades of practical experience Mandi has built several theatre groups in her native Birmingham and taken them to perform on big stages like the Royal Albert hall.

The Summer Performing Arts Schools begin on 13th July and run through until 21st August. The Monday to Friday development stages are broken down into relaxed sessions with plenty of food and rest breaks and time to make friends and build confidence. Find out more at the website, or contact Mandi at theatricalconnectionstenerife@gmail.com  or call on 922752807 or 602626736.

 

 

CD Marino Back From The Brink In Six Goal Romp

Heat wave warnings advised of soaring temperatures but they didn’t predict a red hot goal feast as CD Marino fought back for a 3-3 home draw with Union Viera. Marino still had an outside chance of taking their section title and the visitors were hurting after just missing the play off boat, it made for an intriguing clash.

Before kick off Marino’s title winning Alevin B side were presented on the pitch, big respect to Union Viera who joined in the guard of honour for the triumphant youngsters. Chances went begging in the opening exchanges, Sesma headed a clear chance over and Sergio Aragoneses denied Union captain Peraza with a nifty low save. Union looked lively on the break, their skipper couldn’t believe how he put a simple tap in wide from a defence splitting pass.

Sesma was pushing down the left for Marino and looked odds on to score but put the ball outside the post, and Javi Jerez unleashed a fierce shot that Josue pushed aside in the visitors goal. There was no shortage of opportunities for either side, Peraza was again cursing himself when he let the ball run on too far before attempting a strike and a quick follow up was denied by a great save from Aragoneses. The Marino goalie did even better when he scampered across his goal to clear a net bound shot from Afonso. It took a Marino free kick to produce the first goal after 35 minutes, Mendy scrambled the ball over the line.

The half time water quenched Unions thirst and they left Marino panting with a goal from Kilian 10 seconds into the restart. Kevin Castro made some good runs in from the right and it took a combination of a defender and goalie to clear his hanging cross. Shortly after claiming the ball from Peraza’s feet, Sergio Aragoneses came out to claim a high ball and missed it, this time Peraza was more clinical and gave Union the lead. Airam Garcia came on for Javi Jerez but Marino found themselves two adrift as Yared cashed in on another error from Sergio.

To their credit Marino showed character by rallying, three minutes after the goal Nacho Suarez saw his well placed shot go in off the post. Sergio showed all his agility to tip over a Union header and as the play switched to the other end his team mates forced a free kick. Union Viera argued as they tried to sort out their defensive wall, the end result was a feeble obstacle that failed to stop a lethal shot from Suarez. The game was up for grabs now, it looked like there would be more goals, there were certainly more chances but both keepers make great saves to ensure the draw. Marino had the last word with sub Cristian Barrios threading the ball through to Balduino but Josue in goal was strong and pushed the ball over the bar.

Oh Mother How Did CD Tenerife Not Win This Game

It was a day of celebrations in Santa Cruz, the day of the cross, the anniversary homage to ex player Rommel Fernandez, and mothers day, but the only cards were two more suspension causing bookings as CD Tenerife snatched a late 1-1 draw with Lugo.

Scoring goals has become a problem, Tenerife created an avalanche of chances in the first half but were thwarted by a combination of good goalkeeping by Jose Juan, bad luck, and most of all, sloppy finishing. Lugo had the first pop at goal, Luis Fernandez tried a long looping shot that went out off the bar, then the spotlight fell on Diego Ifran in the home shirt. The ten goal top scorer fired three great chances straight at the keeper, the biggest waste was after a dainty lay off from Maxi. The bubble haired striker also fluffed his best moment when he was a tad slow and the goalie blocked the ball at his feet.

Lugo felt encouraged and launched a dipping free kick, thankfully Dani Hernandez took the sting out of it. Suso ensured the half ended goal less by trying to tuck his effort tight inside the keeper. The visitors had enough about them to cause problems, just after the break a fast raid down the left had to be cleared by Dani’s feet and their best forward Toni curled a long shot just wide. There was some frustration setting in to Tenerife’s play, home wins are a priority in their lowly position, Aitor Sanz cleared the bar from outside the box. Then came a bizarre let off for Tenerife, a loose ball near the goal line was half cleared by Moyano and bounced wide off the startled head of Toni.

Change was needed, Juan Carlos looked poor and made way for Cristo Martin and it briefly perked up the blanquiazuls. Diego did the hard work by chesting down the ball but again his shot ran true to the grateful keepers gloves. Raul Camara went off after a booking and with a view to his suspension next week, Hugo Alvarez came on and slotted into the centre of defence so Albizua could fill the left back role. Albizua has grown on me this season, he is a classy defender and showed his versatility with some strong interventions down the flank.

There was no faulting the 9,697 crowd, they didn’t wilt in the heat and kept up their noisy encouragement. Lugo had their own bizarre let off when a header down from Hector pinged around the goal mouth, clipping Ruiz and the goalie before running out of play. Aitor Sanz added another yellow card to his vast collection and booked his day off next week at Santander. With three minutes left a big Lugo clearance found Alvaro Pena and Ferreiro with just Vitolo to stop them bursting through, the Tenerife midfielders  attempt to halt them wasn’t enough and they played a one two beyond him to draw Dani  as Pena popped the ball in the net. To their credit Tenerife launched another attack and as Maxi went for the ball in the penalty area he was hooked over by Israel and Vitolo stroked home the spot kick for a relieved draw.

It’s all getting a bit tight with CD Tenerife just four points clear of the trap door and six games left, only two at home. I’m hoping for a few wins before we run out of time – and available players.

Thirty Years Of Partying At Arona Gran Hotel

You know it’s going to be a good party when within a few minutes of arriving you are watching female synchronized swimmers with a glass of champers in your hand. This was the first time I had such a welcome but this was no ordinary party, Spring Hoteles were combining their 4th annual music celebration with a lavish bash to mark 30 years of welcoming guests to Tenerife. Arona Gran Hotel was the venue, a short walk from Kirby Towers in Los Cristianos so I scrubbed up and even had a shower – and it wasn’t even December. After another glorious sunny day the evening was warm as I made my way through the impressive interior of the hotel to the outdoor terrace overlooking Las Tarajales beach. The guests were leading lights from the main tour operators in Tenerife and we took turns in small groups to visit the glittering spa where the ladies were performing in the heated pool. There was a piano music background, I almost expected to see a pianist submerged in a wetsuit.   Back at the main party I mingled with the glamorous guests and was glad I had dug out some proper trousers and forsaken my CD Tenerife shirt. Sampling nibbles and drinking Estrella beer while a musician coaxed some tunes out of his saxophone was very relaxing and at 10.30 we were treated to a spectacular firework display that was more than a match for the New Year pyrotechnics. It was the signal for us to head for the Las Vistas restaurant and the buffet meal. It was quite a spread, I don’t think I have seen such a range of fish, the lobsters looked like they would pin me down and eat me, the salmon proved to be an easier conquest. I did well to resist the chocolate fountain, well almost, it would have been rude not to have a little dip. Attention to detail is one of the founding principles of Spring Hoteles and it was in evidence all night. A talented artist, Rafa Gamez, flitted between tables sketching complimentary caricatures of guests and magician Steve Johnson bewitched people with his close up sleight of hand. After the feast, and a few Dorada Especials, I waddled after the main group into the Salon Teide for live music from house band Los Salvapantallas. Their mix of 70’s and 80’s ballads and classics got people up and dancing, they were spared my dad at a wedding impression, well I didn’t want to mix my cheese with walnuts up with my chocolate marsh mallows. It was well into the early hours when I wobbled home up the hill, what a top night.

Fresh Fields For Canarian Food Fair

Never let it be said that tradition isn’t flexible in Tenerife, even the most long running events are open to a little tweaking and fine tuning, but of course it doesn’t always work. The Feria de Alimentas Canarias (Canarian Food Fair) tried a new approach this year with the two large marquees moving from outside the Casa del Mar between the two Los Cristianos beaches to outside the Cultural Centre.

Biscuits, bread, cheeses, wine, and all manner of tasty goodies were again gathered together from all seven Canary Islands to the separated marquees at either end of the Plaza del Pescador. In between there was an array of artisans stalls selling arts and crafts, and in front of the Centro Cultural a stage provided traditional music throughout the two days.


Even allowing for it being a bit quiet in Tenerife at the moment the turnout of potential customers was much lower than at the previous location. I popped in several times and it wasn’t the usual scrum down of free sample seeking jabbing elbows around the stalls. The old site was on a main walkway as tourists went back and forth the beaches, they have to be the main target of sales, locals buy and use these foods and drinks all year round and have cheaper local stores to buy from.


The variety didn’t seem quite wide this time, I assume the stall holders had to pay for their pitches, maybe the prices were a bit steeper this time. It was still possible to buy fine products like Avocado Oil, Aloe Vera, honey, gofio, mojo sauce, spices, and chocolate almonds but I didn’t see the constant stream of carrier bags that normally parade out of the tent flaps. Fair play to Arona council for trying something different but maybe next year they will revert to the busier beach site.

CD Tenerife A Point Nearer Safety – Knock On Wood

A 0-0 home draw is not always the best way to impress but lapsed CD Tenerife fans, lured back by ticket deals, were given plenty of encouragement as form team Llagostera were outplayed for most of this game. Both sides had clear chances and had good cause to thank their keepers but Tenerife hit the woodwork twice and squandered some sitters in an entertaining game.

Abdon Prats started his first full game with Diego Ifran consigned to the bench amid worries about his fitness. Dani teased us all with a little juggle of a Pitu shot just after kick off but it was just a blip and the defence was in top form. Up front Maxi was his usual hustle and bustle but couldn’t quite wrap his boot around a soft 20th minute shot. Llagostera have rampaged through the lower divisions and showed a no nonsense style based on a strong defence built around man mountain Alcala, quick breaks, and a willingness to shoot on sight. Former home forward Juanjo got a generous welcome but didn’t really shine, Rios was keen to exploit the left flank but Moyano did a superb job on him.

 

Vitolo missed the last game because of his fiery temper but it was good to see him back displaying his fiery tackles, he’s a born competitor. When Llagostera did break through Dani was resolute, a strong clearing punch on the half hour made a commanding statement. Abdon Prats is slowly improving and got into good positions only to waste two decent chances, the clearest being a firm header wide. Carlos Ruiz added his effort to thee search for an opener but Sergio Leon gave the visitors the closing attempt of the half, Raul Camara and Dani combined to see off that danger.

 


Abdon showed his worth as a provider early after the break, he fed the ball to Maxi but he didn’t find the target. Modest beginnings and a surge of promotions has brought Llagostera many admirers but they tarnished that image with some farcical theatricals. Samuel deserved a gold medal for artistic impression when he squirmed and rolled like a speared pig after Suso brushed past him. Tenerife were going all out for a goal, Suso did a sweet lay off to the overlapping Moyano, a sharp defender just about snuffed it out. Cristo Martin replaced the subdued Juan Carlos, Llagostera put a free kick high and wide, and Suso made stopper Rene scramble to clear his close range prod.

The 10,475 crowd were urging the ball to hit the back of the net, Aitor Sanz could only find the roof of the net with his in swinging corner as the game ticked away. Diego Ifran took over from Maxi and Aridane lumbered on for Abdon, Diego looked fairly sharp and gave the visiting defence plenty to worry about as he shot at the keeper and forced a couple of corners. Goalie Rene joined the over acting club, dropping with a sudden leg injury and he really milked his spell in the spotlight. Back at the action Diego blasted the ball against the crossbar, Llagostera broke ending with a weak shot from Alcala straight at Dani, and Carlos Ruiz leapt to power a header at the bar. Five minutes added time gave renewed hope but it wasn’t to be and the draw was well received by the sun drenched stadium. The gap from the relegation zone is now six points, there’s more work to do in the eight remaining games and shooting practice will be high on the training agenda.