CD Marino Rue Missed Chances But Stay Top

Flared tempers, gift goals, and missed sitters, all wrapped up with good creative football. That’s what unfolded as CD Marino drew 1-1 at home to Mensajero, there was even a meltdown by the referee that left the La Palma team fuming.

I knew it was going to be an interesting afternoon when the swifts that swoop around the ground dive bombed me as I clicked away at pitch side. Both teams had plenty of quality so it settled into a tight contest with the reds shading the opening 10 minutes but it was Pibe of Marino who had the first decent sight of goal. The forward got into a good position in front of the net but screwed his shot over the bar. Mensajero launched a counter attack with Iray picking his way down the left before shooting wide. Pibe was cursing his luck again after finding room on the right but his shot twanged a post. Aridani joined in the shooting practice pushing forward from the left back slot to fire another wide effort. In between those near misses Aridani came to the rescue to snuff out a Mensajero raid.

Visiting goalie Kyliam was in a generous mood after 21 minutes, he made a soft pass out that was intercepted by Pibe who teed the ball up for Nestor Trujillo to grab a home lead. At the other end Alberto looked solid with confident takes from two free kicks either side of an acrobatic tip over. Aaron Darias made one of his timely runs from right back, nipping between two red defenders to put a cross over that Pibe was only able to put over the bar. Mensajero matched Marino in creativity and looked odds on to score just before half time but once in the goal area they were looking to create a penalty instead of shooting.

The second half opened with another fine stop from Alberto, this one low down at the foot of the post. Amado replaced Sesma just before Javi Machena had a goal bound strike stopped by Kyliam’s knee. Alberto stood firm again charging out of his goal twice in quick succession to thwart Mensajero – he looked unbeatable. There was a sustained period of pressure from the visitors with just over 10 minutes left and the unthinkable happened. Alberto dived to stop a cross cum shot from Fede but missed the ball and Iray was on hand to level the scores.

A strong reaction was needed from Marino but they couldn’t produce it and Mensajero’s play became desperate as they searched for a winner. The visiting bench was at fever pitch and coach Manuel Cid took his frustration out on the dug out, the ref could have just booked him but over reacted and sent him off. The ref had lost it, he dispatched Eslave for the home side with a second booking and also sent the substituted Jaime from the Mensajero bench to the changing room for doubting his word. There was one final flash point as Alberto raced out to claim an attackers ball, he beat his man and rolled some way outside his area. Furious Mensajero players and the bench claimed it was a foul and screamed for a penalty and a sending off but the ref didn’t want to know and soon after blew for time. It was a frantic end to a fluid game between two well matched sides.


Parks And Cars On A Duck Day Afternoon

A hunting we will go, well that was my intention as I headed for Santa Cruz and La Laguna with ducks on my menu. The capital was the first stop, there was a buzz of activity to mark the Plenilunio, a rare alignment of the planets, something to do with getting the moon in Uranus – painful. Maybe I should seek a more scientific explanation from Prof Stephen Hawking at next weeks Starmus Festival.

Down at Plaza de España I was expecting a flotilla of yellow plastic ducks to raise money for Cruz Roja (Red Cross) and their campaign to help hospitalized children. The ducks were a little shy so I jumped on a tram to my other target, La Laguna, the Fiestas del Cristo were approaching the final week and Plaza del Cristo and the church entrance were decked out in bunting and a giant stage and large sand pit (for Canarian Wrestling) dominated the plaza itself. Parque de La Constitucion was my target and hopefully some live, recently evicted ducks. When the Cathedral was finally restored earlier in the year, the ancient duck pond outside was cleared for a new water feature (still not completed) and the army of ducks that had lived there since before orange sauce was invented, were removed to a temporary home amid much consternation. To silence the quacks of protest 100,000 euros has been spent on a new duck pond and house in Parque de La Constitucion but I found it has no water yet, let alone any joyful feathered friends.

So a wasted afternoon? No such thing in my book, I had spotted another interesting looking park nearby so popped into El Parque La Vega and what a beautiful place it is. Built around a large central café, it has a stream ambling its way between a spread of trees and waterfalls. Chunky orange fish darted around waiting for breadcrumbs from visitors and the banks were lined with turtles basking in the sun. There were plenty of sports courts and play areas, rest zones, and even a little roller skating zone. This and the other parks in La Laguna open from 7am to 10 pm daily and are well worth a look.

Taking a wide arc back to the centre of town I found myself on the long, leafy Avenida Universidad (La Laguna is home to a modern and thriving University) and spotted a castle complete with turrets set back from the road, It seemed a bit out of place and the gates were chained locked but a sign on the front named it as Castle Lan. A bit of later research showed it to be a centre for computer game fans but most of the information I found said it was now closed. I hope to find out more and see if the castle is just a modern folly as the too clean façade seems to indicate.

Time to tram it back to Santa Cruz and see what was splashing at Plaza de España. The good news was the ducks were on patrol, it wasn’t quite what I had been expecting but was still entertaining. I thought the 4,000 ducks would all be let loose on the water at once but a small protected corner was filled with a few hundred at a time and people were being charged one euro a time to scoop a duck up in a net to keep, the young children were loving it. I had a go but gave my squeaky duck to the nice lady helper, the yellow colour would clash with my football beliefs – if only they had some blue ducks. I was quite amused to see they had a security guard on duty, not sure what sort of problems they were anticipating, those ducks can get a bit stroppy at feeding time.

All around the other Plenilunio events were springing to attention, a couple of bands warmed up on the stage in Plaza del Candelaria and there were loads of smaller stages spread around the city. In Parque Garcia Sanabria the start and finish arches were being put in place for the evening fun run and outside the streets were being cleared of illegally parked cars by an army of gruas.

Cutting through La Noria on my way back to the bus station I ran into a display of classic cars gleaming in the evening sun. I’ve seen quite a few of these before and will no doubt see them and many more at the Boulevard Motor Show at the Recinto Ferial in a few weeks, I will have the full low down on that very soon. The silver lady in the photo was perched on a Packard Eight and the winged creature is on a Chevrolet.

The live music, food stalls, running, and other promotions were set to run late into the night. For me though a couple more routine stops edged me closer to my return bus to Los Cristianos, well it’s going to be a busy week and I have a lot more places to dip my beak.


Spanish Ladies Open Votes Yes For Golf Costa Adeje

How appropriate that 128 of the best ladies golfers from around the globe teed off at Golf Costa Adeje on the day women were finally admitted to The Royal and Ancient Golf Club in Scotland. Not that the ladies professional game has been kicking its heels waiting for such a sign, the sport is always marching forward and this years Spanish Ladies Open is set to add more new converts.

I’m not a golfer myself but the annual ladies contest in Tenerife, in various forms, always figures on my sporting radar. Cloud was rolling over the Costa Adeje course when I arrived on the first day but the readouts were still showing 26 degrees, no wonder each days play was set for an 8am start. I already knew there was a prize pot of 350,000 euros this year, picking up a copy of last years order of merit, the earnings list was more than healthy with the lowest of the 104 players picking up just under 10,000 euros and the leader Suzann Pettersen of Norway raking in 315, 867.72 (don’t forget that 72 cents).

On the course I recognized quite a few of the players from previous years, Lee Anne Pace (top white) was back to defend her title, 26 countries are involved this year with a good spread of Brits. Trish Johnson and Melissa Reid are both previous tournament winners in Tenerife but a new name Charley Hull was making the early running. As the cloud parted and cranked up the heat, La Gomera stood proud across the Atlantic with a cloudy halo framing it nicely. There weren’t that many spectators despite entry and parking being free, most will come on Saturday and Sunday after the cut reduces the field to 60 contenders.

I noticed a few of the ladies didn’t have caddies and were dragging their own trolleys, a few semi regular caddies had told me they had cut the fees this year but let’s just call it character building for those doubling as players and carriers. The higher ranked players get other advantages like sponsored outfits, ladies golf fashion is a competitive business now and the new designs were getting lots of publicity from the TV cameras following every shot. My eyes were certainly drawn to more than the technical style on show.

I don’t want to show any bias but it would be good to see another Brit winner, maybe one of the Scottish ladies could crown a momentous week north of the border. In a year when Brazil failed to win their home football crown I can’t help but hope that Victoria Lovelady flies their flag high – well that is a cracking name. If you want to keep an eye on scores as they develop go to and pop down to see another world class event set against our world class scenery.



Baby Steps On The Path To Stability For CD Tenerife

We got pretty much what we had been asking for, a slight improvement in form, and even a well worked goal in a 1-0 home win over Mirandes. Given the winless run stretching back into last season, CD Tenerife desperately needed to break the dam and calm the jangling nerves.

Relegated and then handed a late reprieve, Mirandes were not the strongest side that will visit Santa Cruz this season, but who cares, it was about beating ourselves as much as beating the visitors. Three more of the new signings made their league debuts, Ruso Garcia replaced Aridane up front, Hugo Alvarez filled in for the suspended Carlos Ruiz, and Igor Arnaez slotted in at left back. Early play was nervous but encouraging and after 6 minutes Aitor Sanz showed a flash of determination and skill. The midfielder robbed a Mirandes defender out on the right and set up a straight forward chance for Guarrotxena who made sure he beat former home keeper Razak Brimah.

It was like Christmas Day, fiesta Friday, and free beer Tuesday all wrapped up in one glorious moment of relief. Mind you being a hard bitten bunch we knew it might not be that easy so we prayed and fretted as the first half unfolded. Ruso should have made it 2-0 after 22 minutes, he had a clear sight of goal but couldn’t bury the ball. Mirandes gave us a few scares, basically anytime they got a foot or head on the ball the worries crept up again but Arnaez and Hugo Alvarez looked comfortable in defence and Jacobo had little to deal with.

The second half was just as tense, Aridane replaced Ruso and got another mixed reception but Ruso had looked little more than adequate and a second goal had to be a priority. Davila didn’t show much and was sacrificed for Cristo, at least the clock was running down. There was a big scare as Mirandes broke through after 72 minutes, Jacobo made a great save to block the danger, offside was called but it was quite close enough for our liking.

Thankfully there was just a couple of minutes of added time to endure, the final whistle was sweet music to the 8,175 crowd. A win is a win and the hope is we can push on from here. Valladolid will be a tough nut away next Sunday, inevitably the home clash with the Pios is on everyones mind but there is still a lot of work to do.

Five Star Show Puts CD Marino Top

Pre match talk had been all about gloves but it was the lethal boots of CD Marino that trampled all over CD El Cotillo for a 5-1 home win. The signing of former CD Tenerife goalie Sergio Aragoneses created a mid week media frenzy but he sat this one out as Alberto kept his place. Sadly many of the reports of the new arrival didn’t go on to mention this home fixture and that showed in the crowd that struggled to break three figures.

The newly promoted visitors from Fuerteventura had made a good start to the season but looked weak and were exposed time and time again by a solid Marino team display. After shaving the crossbar just after kick off, Marino were unlucky when a Nestor Trujillo effort was touched away by the keeper and trickled against the post before bouncing back into his grasp. The clock only showed 8minutes when Sesma took his time to place a cool shot past the stranded stopper to take the lead.


Cotillo tried to rouse themselves, a raid down their left looked promising but was expertly snubbed out by Darias. Sesma was wreaking havoc and a neat headed flick found Pibe but Julio in the Cotillo goal got down to smother the shot. There was a small spark of hope for the opposition when Justin knocked in a weak shot that Alberto should have easily covered. The home response was swift, as a move down the left ended with the ball at the feet of Pibe, his finish was clinical and the advantage was restored.

A Darias in swinger forced a strong punch out from Julio but just before half time Marchena down the left found Pibe whose feed was converted by Nestor to round off a smooth break that ripped Cotillo open. The attacking urge continued in the second half, Darias was in full flight when he was upended in the box and Sesma stroked home the penalty. Alberto looked sharper when making a tremendous full length diving save from a rare Cotillo attack but it was only the stifling humidity and substitutions that prevented Marino from completely destroying the visitors. Nestor had the Cotillo defence in tatters as he constantly probed them, his build up work left Pibe with the simplest of tap ins to make it 5-1.

There was a welcome water break when the ref needed treatment for a knock, Cotillo were in the greater need of the respite. The ref added to their woes when he awarded a second yellow to their main strike weapon Juanjo and sent him off with ten minutes left. A couple of near misses and some desperate defending kept the score as it was, Marino had good reason to be pleased with a performance that marks them out as a firm promotion candidate.


Virgen Del Carmen Floats Everyones Boat

It takes a womans touch to calm the seas, get the fishing boats scrubbed and decorated, and get everyone up and dancing. The Virgen del Carmen is the patron of the fishermen and Los Cristianos loves to celebrate her fiesta with colour and music.

This year it was an extra special party as the church in the heart of town was celebrating its 50th anniversary. The fair rolled in and the huge stage rose up at the car park next to the Valdes Centre. For anyone living close to the showground, the sight of the powerful speakers dominating the stage might have brought a little sigh but most people just roll with it and the many other fiestas that make Tenerife such a fun place to live. It’s the only time of the year that the statue of the Virgen comes out to play, carried down to the port for a whizz around the bay on a boat. The great lady is always in the minds and hearts of the local fishing community and the scaled down statue that is sunk on the sea bed keeps an eye on passing boats while her land based shrine is constantly topped up with flowers.

One of the newer events this year was the Fiesta del Sombreros (party of the hats) in the sealed off Calle Amalia Alayon. Tables were groaning with food and drink all afternoon and the homemade hats were very inventive and funny. There were prizes for the best efforts but it was more about the party spirit than glory hunting. The fair was back in town with some big scary rides and the fun favourites like the rodeo bulls – I could watch people falling off them for hours.

The sea was the big canvas, these are testing financial times for the latest generation of fishermen but they all proudly decorated their boats and did a twirl around the bay. I noticed on thee final night there was workshop going on in the Cofradia (fishermens association) office to teach Turismo Marinero, a new way to pass on a feel for history to the visitors that flock to Los Cristianos. Just back from the old beach, the Plaza del Pescadora was another popular focal point for music and dance, all the local bars and restaurants had good reason to say a quiet thank you to the Virgen as their tills got a welcome top up.

I dipped in and out of the events, and the bars, but made a point of catching up with the final evenings Sortija del Barcos. The shadows were starting to lengthen but the beach was still full as the fishing boats chugged out of the port to form a circle in the open sea in clear sight of shore. One of the biggest boats, Moby Dick, provided the stage for announcements as a dozen competing boats made a close orbit as one of the crew strived to grab a small ring from an outstretched post on the side of the main boat.

It needed a steady eye and hand even in the calm shallows, last year I watched a similar competition on horseback at nearby Montaña Chayofita. As the showground stage was dismantled, the last night of dancing unfolded at Plaza del Pescadora with the gentle lapping of the sea a fitting goodnight to the Virgen del Carmen.


Nestor Makes It A Perfect Start For CD Marino

Fireworks ripping through the Los Cristianos sky this week are as good a way as any to mark a two win perfect start for CD Marino. It’s the Virgen del Carmen celebrations to mark the fishing traditions of south Tenerife and the Marino club knows all about tradition and pride.

A quiet revolution has been going on at CD Marino, a raft of new faces has been brought in to build on last seasons promotion play off reaching team. Not many were in place when I saw them lose 1-7 to a strong Las Palmas side pre season but all that was forgotten when they opened their Tercera division campaign last week with a 1-2 win at Estrella. There was a good shape to the side in the latest win,1-0 at home to Atletico Victoria, Amado back for a second spell had the captains armband and marshaled his defence well, as well as making some timely interventions. Pibe led the attack with plenty of pace and old favourites like goalie Alberto, Pablo, and Balduino added a steadying influence to the mix.

Victoria spurned a couple of early chances, Lele looped his shot marginally over the goal but Marino settled quickly and took the game to their rivals from the north. Pibe carved his way through a couple of defenders but stumbled when shaping for a shot, a long high strike from Airan didn’t threaten the Victoria keeper, but a second effort from Pibe deserved better after he turned quickly and blasted just over the bar.

The stocky Joseph caused some trouble at the other end but found Alberto ready for him with a fine take in the air. Marino were testing their guests all the time, Nestor Trujillo was always willing to take the ball wide and challenge the defenders. At the break the blues had to be content with having the greater share of the play. The action resumed with a rare Victoria attack but the home defence mopped it up well. Marchena, another former Marino player lured back to the Antonio Dominguez stadium replaced Kevin Castro and added more bulk to the attack.

Pibe should have passed to a team mate after steering the ball around the defence but he hesitated and the moment was gone. Nestor Trujillo learnt from that and a few minutes later he drew his marker before placing his shot perfectly to grab the lead with 20 minutes to go. This stung Victoria into action, their goalie camped out on the edge of his box to help launch a fight back, Alberto came to the rescue twice with a powerful punch clear and then a dash outside his area to boot the ball out of play. It was a well deserved win and they will be looking for a third next weekend at Santa Ursula.


CD Tenerife Get A Point Worth Staying Up For

Man sees Jesus in slice of toast! As much as you want to believe it and strain your eyes it’s just a blur. Now I’m not saying that CD Tenerife’s 1-1 home draw with Albacete marked a moment of divine revelation but something is definitely appearing out of the recent months gloom. Of course it helped having a hallelujah moment when Aridane scored the first league goal in 790 minutes.

Maybe the late night air of Santa Cruz suits us but don’t tell the TV companies, their imposed 10pm kick off is not something we want to make a habit of. The late recruitment of a whole shoal of new players has put CD Tenerife a month behind their rivals but two of the new boys made a big impact on this game. The injured Ifran made way for Cristo Martin, and Aridane played the central striking role, he had great support from Guarrotxena who was strong and went close to scoring after just five minutes. At the other end, Albuzua looked assured alongside Carlos Ruiz in central defence.

Jacobo made a couple of good early saves but repeated his opening day weakness after 32 minutes, Portu put the ball into Diaz in the area and he fired, it was a soft effort and the big goalie should have easily swallowed it but it went straight through him for an away lead. The home spirit was good, Aridane, Ruiz, and Guarrotxena all went close in a hot five minute spell and hope still hung in the air at half time. The second half saw the steady improvement continue, Ruso came on for the busy Cristo Martin and a minute later the visiting goalie showed his generous side after Guarrotxena forced a mistake out of him to present Aridane with the goal we had all craved since April.

The second biggest cheer of the night was for the return of Vitolo after nine years away from his home island. Although clearly a little rusty he slotted in well and another piece of the jigsaw arrived when Maxi came on after 70 minutes. The Albacete goalie and some bad luck prevented a home winner but the build up play was better.

Albizua looked a class act tidying up behind the more prominent Ruiz, in the last ten minutes he stopped a Albacete break and hooked the ball up field to start a Maxi run down the right wing. It was a much encouraged 7,885 crowd that filed out for a midnight cup of cocoa, we had to settle for beer. More of the new signings will be up for consideration for next weeks game at Girona and coach Cervera will have a tough decision to make on the goalie choice but I will be looking for omens in my cornflakes next Saturday morning.

Hot Foot From Candelaria To The Badlands Of Guimar

My lazy legs had found their stride again, after a few months of neglecting the walking trails I dived back in with a mission to explore one of the newly promoted routes from Candelaria Ayuntamiento. It was so enjoyable I just kept on going along the east coast of Tenerife down to Guimar to make a nice long afternoon of it.

There’s a full report to come on the stretch from Candelaria basilica to Playa de La Viuda for , a 90 minute walk that revealed a little used route with plenty to offer. I bade farewell to the charming old fishing village and briefly took the road long the back of the industrial estate that contains the Mahou brewery, I’d tasted that a few months before covering a CD Tenerife promotional visit. Thoughts of beer had to be banished from my head on this scorching afternoon, my water ration was good for another few hours and El Socorro welcomed me back to the coast.

A popular bathing area, El Socorro beach was fairly busy with families and the small refreshment van under a tree was doing a steady trade. A few yards further marked the entrance to Malpais de Guimar (badlands of Guimar) a protected area of natural beauty, if you like volcanic cones and twisted lava flows this will knock you bandy. The last stretch of surfing waves was soon left behind and I was into the wide open landscape as I followed a loosely marked path. A few roughly thrown together shelters and shacks were the only signs of life as the dark, hard rock underfoot kept me alert.

I was quite shocked by the amount of rubbish left behind at the surfing zone, this gave way to natures own deposits with driftwood and discarded waste from boats driven onto the rocks by the strong tides. The wispy clouds hung quite low in the Guimar valley as the lava fields stretched up through the cones to the TF1 motorway. One of the cones, Montaña de la Mar, made a fine natural mirador to take in the view and the information on the thoughtfully provided board. This peak was formed 10,000 years ago, if that sounds a long time just consider that in terms of Tenerife’s geology this and it’s 277 metre inland neighbour, Montaña Grande, were formed in the most recent hour.

Just after this resting point I encountered a couple pushing their bicycles along the track, there was no way thy could ride them on this rough stretch, and the bad news was they would be unseated for well over another hour until they got to El Socorro. My eyes, and legs, were cheered to see an end to the lava coast as El Puertito loomed up in the distance. Another assorted collection of old fishing shacks and improvised shelters eased me onto a smoother pathway and into the very busy El Puertito. Families were packed along the quayside and the sea was a big lure for the hot and sweaty, I should have brought my swimming gear. Instead I made for a local bar, a cold beer, and a huge chocolate pastry as I reflected on another route to add to my collection.

Bless This Team But Not The LFP

It’s fair to say that CD Tenerife supporters expect a little turbulence during the football season but a full scale cock up before it even begins added a new uncertainty. No wonder the players looked more attentive than usual when they made their annual pilgrimage to the basilica for a blessing from the Virgen de Candelaria.

The LFP, Spanish FA, just about had time to put in their expenses claims from their World Cup jolly before kicking Real Murcia down to the Segunda B for not fulfilling their financial obligations. The trouble was Murcia believed they had met every demand made on them, and a court agreed with this. The LFP had already drawn the fixtures and reprieved relegated Mirandes so there we were with an unworkable 23 team league. A late court hearing saw the judge change his mind against Murcia so they were ruled out and the first weeks fixtures were ready for playing.

The final outcome came just as CD Tenerife arrived by coach at the basilca, I was there ready to start a coastal walk so snapped a few shots. The players were very casual in their white training tops while President Concepcion and his staff were immaculate in suits. Quite a few supporters mingled with the media scrum and the players signed autographs and shook hands. The beggars on the steps looked hopeful but they obviously haven’t seen the club finances, at one point I thought Concepcion was going to tap them for a loan.

Inside the imposing basilica, the players were ushered to the front pews, a church bouncer moved a few devout prayers and the service began. Some wriggled in their seats, some looked very solemn, and some like Aridane seemed to be seeking forgiveness for spurned goal chances. They were in for around one hour, I left them to it when the serious stuff started, it’s too late to redeem me and anyway my church has four floodlights and a bar nearby that serves holy water. Emerging squeaky clean and ready for another campaign the players were whisked away, maybe a few CDT scarves on the statues of the Guanche kings would have completed the scene. It’s now over to the players to turn water into Dorada and a poor pre season into promotion aspirations. Let us all sing hymn number 92.02 Chicharrero de Corazon.