Aches And Pains Of CD Tenerife Opening Defeat

With a thud that could almost be heard back in Tenerife, Real Zaragoza’a Blanco and the visitors Nikola Sipcic met head on as they leapt for a 50-50 high ball. The CD Tenerife Serbian defender crumpled to the floor, and that was the end of his debut game as he went off for treatment. It was typical of a cruel evening that saw Tenerife´s good work undermined by misfortune and a ludicrous VAR decision on the way to an opening 2-0 league defeat.

Coach Aritz Lopez Garai was hampered before the game even started, two other new players, Slovakian full back Robert Mazan, and striker Ramon Mierez missed the big kick off with injury niggles. That didn’t stop their team mates from making the big spending, hotly tipped promotion favourites look very ordinary in the first half. Shinji Kagawa ,nicknamed the Japanese Messi, is Zaragoza’s big coup of a signing but the Tenerife defence and midfield restricted him to an early wide shot after a break down the right. Borja Lasso tested the home defence with a blast from outside the box, and Suso combined well with Luis Perez whose cross was taken off the head of Sipcic.
Right back Perez had been the star of pre season games with his driving runs down the wing, he wriggled free of the home defence but his shot was a little wayward. The Tenerife front line had a familiar look, Malbasic brought a long pass under control and was shaping up for a shot when the Zaragoza goalie came out to deny him. There was even some cheeky stroking around of the ball to frustrate the home players and crowd. By the half hour water break the local fans only had a luke warm impression of their new side. Luis Milla tried his luck but powered the ball over the Zaragoza goal.

In the final five minutes of the half, Zaragoza upped their game. Adrian Ortola, who had wrestled the gloves off seasoned regular Dani Hernandez, made a clean stop to deny Raphael. Zaragoza charged again and caught the Tenerife defence flat footed, Aitor Sanz was too late with a sliding intervention and Suarez fired past Ortola to take the lead. That changed the whole mood of the game, Zaragoza looked more at ease in the second half, Raphael put another effort just the wrong side of the goal post. Suso rushed a shot at the other end and it gave the keeper no problems. Then that clash of heads made matters worse, Sipcic had been influential in defence and supporting the attack. Carlos Ruiz took over his role and Dani Gomez replaced Naranjo up front. When Zaragoza pressed again, Ortola let the ball squirm away from him and was grateful to Ruiz for clearing the threat.

 

On a sultry night, water seemed to be a prelude to disaster, after the second cooler break Carlos Ruiz brought down an opponent and was sent off for two bookings. More frantic shuffling was accompanied by the arrival of Alex Bermejo for Sanz, but new coach Garai had more setbacks heading his way. With two minutes of regular time left, Bermejo tripped an incoming Zaragoza player just outside the box, both sides were gearing up for a free kick when the ref pointed to the penalty spot under advice from VAR, on the first day of its introduction to the Segunda Division. It came just hours after another shocking call in the Manchester City v Tottenham game and underlined the faults in the system. Ros converted the kick to complete a frustrating match, and after the game Luis Perez needed seven stitches in a face wound and Sipcic was kept in hospital overnight for observation.. Coach Garai was the one with the biggest headache, a bundle of selection problems to juggle before the home opener against Numancia but should draw some encouragement from the first half display.

Whales And Dolphins Greet Travelin Lady

Barely 20 minutes out of Los Cristianos harbour, pilot whales and dolphins converged on the Travelin Lady boat to show why Tenerife is the perfect place to watch these graceful and enchanting creatures. It’s a labour of love for the three strong crew and up to 80 passengers, and has been since they started trips in 1991.

A hot, clear day was unfolding for the 11 am two hour voyage, the sea was rippling gently and a pleasant breeze wafted through the two deck boat. One of the smallest of the local fleet to unlock the wonders of the Canary Island coast, Travelin Lady had an informal and friendly atmosphere as we headed out to sea. Ferries were rushing away to the neighbouring island of La Gomera but our pace was more leisurely and was rewarded when the crew spotted a mix of pilot whales and dolphins just ahead.

Slowing to a patient amble, our new friends hardly seemed to notice us. That’s partly down to the quieter new engine, one of several voluntary measures to comply with a code of conduct that is officially certified by the yellow flag. A third of all the worlds species of cetaceans either live in or pass through the waters of the Canary Islands, that brings a big responsibility, Travellin Lady has an enclosed propeller for extra protection. It’s good to know that care extends to the passengers, signs in English and Spanish explained safety procedures and pointed out life raft and jacket spots. A small bar ensured that drinks and snacks could be bought to answer the effect of the warm, salty breeze.

With cameras and videos filled with special moments, it was time to cut back nearer the shoreline at the base of the 428 metre high Guaza Mountain, a protected area of natural beauty. The basalt stacks of the cliffs are home to countless seagulls and rarer birds, and the erosion of the ocean has carved a series of inlets and deep caves. The curious sight of the fish farm cages showed a modern side to the fishing industry that has provided for the local people for many generations.

Working back around the coast, we headed past the harbour and out beyond the modern man made Las Vistas beach. The sparkling water and yellow sand were further reminders of the attractions of Tenerife. On the 1 and 3 pm sailing, the boat moors up for passengers to take a cooling swim before returning to the port. It was a very enjoyable trip with a well informed crew, Tenerife has many wonders but a voyage on the sea adds a whole new understanding to the rich harvest of life that call the island home.


Travellin Lady heads out to sea every day at 11am, and 1 and 3pm from the small quayside on the old Los Cristianos beach. The basic adult price is 25 euros, childrens prices depend on age, and ask about the VIP options. For more information, or to book right up to departure time, visit the first kiosk to the right of the beach. You can also visit the website.  Here is the full gallery of my photos from the trip.

CD Tenerife Seek New Recipe In Pre Season Pie

You could almost feel sorry for football´s pre season friendly games. Few fans remember them and the results often confound, mislead, and confuse supporters. For CD Tenerife the 2019-2020 build up was even more of a leap into the unknown than usual. Latest coach on the conveyor belt, Aritz Lopez Garai, a sprightly 38 year old, arrived via brief experience at the helm for Reus and Numancia. Then new players started to arrive, and arrive, and arrive.

The opening two games served up 13 goals scored and none conceded. A 0 – 9 triumph over three levels inferior Aguillas, at T3 in La Caleta, and a 0-4 win at CD Marino featured the usual mass changing of players at half time.Top scoring at Top Training went to Luis Perez, Sevilla recruit Alex Bermejo, and B teamer Josue with two apiece.The most pleasing sight though was to see midfielder Aitor Sanz return from a 16 month achilles tendon nightmare.
The goals quartet was crammed into the first 28 minutes at CD Marino. Borja Lasso with a header, Naranjo chipped the home keepers bad clearance over his head, and Malbasic looked sharp with two well taken strikes. The big Sebian and Naranjo tied as top scorers last season with just six league goals each, both were big earners and may well go before the big kick off. Nano, who only struck four times, is back at parent club Eibar. Josue and 20 year old Dani Gomez from Real Madrid B looked willing in the opening games but a little light weight. the wait for new fire power was underway.

The new coach was in the spotlight. Using full backs to overlap and create openings stood out in his first games, three more captures in the run up to the Teide Trophy game, fitted that tactic. American right back Shaq Moore, and Slovakian Robert Mazan (25) got brief run outs but Cultural Leonesa had a fairly comfortable 0-3 victory. The next new signings were also in the 23 to 26 age bracket, we had been promised younger players with fire in their boots. Centre back Alex Munoz (24) from Real Zaragoza can cover left back or midfield. Nikola Sipsic, a 6 foot plus centre back from Serbia was next to make a show at the south airport.

It wasn´t all hard work, fitness and team bonding were helped along by running in the Tenerife hills, and river rafting at a weeks training camp in Portugal. That included a less impressive 4-2 defeat to Sparta Braga B with goals from Bermejo and Malbasic, and a much better 0-1 win v Celta Vigo with a Malbasic finish from a Luis Perez cross. Adrian Ortola from Barcelona via Deportivo started in goal and will fancy his chances of replacing Dani Hernandez for the starting role in the league.

Unlike the UK, Spain´s transfer window closes on 2 September, Argentinian striker Ramon Mierez could be the goal bagger we wanted, the 22 year old Argentinian has netted a fair record at Alaves and did better on loan in Croatia last season. A couple of more new boys may arrive but the worry is fending off admirers of our best stars like Alberto and Luis Milla. Real Madrid Castilla, the final warm up, will see us return to the Heliodoro Stadium in Santa Cruz before a tough league opener at Real Zaragoza on 17 August. Anything can happen this season, and probably will, but being back with the Armada Sur for a weekly football fix is a joyous prospect.

Tenerife Will Stand Firm For Admiral Nelson Reload

Mutual respect by the two sea faring nations was not diminished by a defeated British Navy attack on the Tenerife capital, Santa Cruz in 1797. Admiral Horatio Nelson lost most of his right arm to musket fire when coming ashore, several of his ships were forced off target by ill judged winds and tides, and the surrender treaty of 25 July confirmed three historic defences of the capital.

Now 222 years later the Amigos de 25 July are staging their annual reconstruction of key battle moments, but there are many places to visit all year round in the Tenerife capital that evoke two entwined histories.
On Friday 19 July 2019, the Castillo Negro, between the modern hook nosed Auditorium and the Parque Maritima outdoor swimming complex, will see the first landing boats met by the defending forces at 9 pm. That began and ended Nelson’s personal action, he was ferried back to a ship under protest, to have most of his arm cut off and the wounds sewn up. He had already lost the sight in the right eye from a previous wound. Not surprisingly, the invading effort had little chance after that.

On Saturday 20 July, small units of troops will be deployed near Plaza de España from noon. Some British troops had landed further north up the coast and tried to battle down through the city as commanded by Admiral Troubridge. From 9 pm skirmishes will be played out near Calle La Noria, just below the barranco bridge. The surrender treaty was signed initially by Admiral Troubridge, at Plaza Isla de Madera, and this will be re-enacted at 9 pm on Sunday 21 July. There will be a procession through the city on Thursday 25 July from 8 pm. Back in 1797, patched up Nelson was invited to dine with the Santa Cruz Governor, Juan Antonio Gutierrez. The British lost 250 men in the failed invasion but Nelson was full of praise for the humanity of Gutierrez, he arranged for injured men and provisions to be returned to their ships and presented barrels of malvasia wine and other gifts to the British. Nelson promised to forbid any future attacks on the Canary Islands, it was a strangely civilised surrender and the Admiral is even commemorated on a couple of street names. This years events are dedicated to Captain Diego Correa of La Laguna, who captured the British Flag from the ship, Emerald. It´s now displayed in a glass cabinet in the Military Museum of Almeyda, a short stroll north of the ferry port. Entry is free, Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 2 pm, and there are two floors of exhibits from many eras plus a range of vehicles in the yard.

All along the coast road of Santa Cruz, and inland, there are plaques describing key points in the Nelson conflict, in English and Spanish. Down on the port, by the small, metal lighthouse, there is the imprint of a canon ball from a British ship, a sculpted tribute to the surrender treaty had pride of place at the port and is expected to be replaced once the major makeover of the port entrance is completed.

For a dip back in time, try the ruins of the old Castillo San Cristobal, unearthed when the Plaza de España lake was updated a decade ago. Entrance is free from Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm, you can see part of the old city wall and also the Tigre canon that helped to repel Nelson and his men.

Bumper Sunday Crop In Valle San Lorenzo

Nature knows how to set out it’s stall, and Valle San Lorenzo, just 7 kms above the Los Cristianos coast, put on a wonderful spread for my Sunday morning trip to the Arona Farmers Market. Usually I am tempted up by a specific event like the chestnut night, but the time was ripe to enjoy the free market coach provided by Arona Council (Ayuntamiento) and to check out the delights of the town.

Bang on time, the 10.20 red coach whisked me from the Escuela Idiomas (language school) just above the Apolo Commercial Centre, and 20 minutes later I was dropped off in the main street near the market. It was already 24 degrees as I passed the statue of the Guanche native at the roundabout, a homage to the goat herds and other people who founded the town. The main street was dominated at the lower end by the craggy peak , and at the other by the modern Terrero, where Canarian Wrestling still thrives.

The Mercado del Agricultor de Arona has been open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 am to 2 pm since its October 2017 inauguration. Flowers, vegetables, cakes, wines, biscuits, cheeses, and seasonal specials fill the stalls. It´s a home to culture too, on past visits I have enjoyed live music and dance, this time there was an exhibition of sculptures by Slovenian artist Jurij Jesovnik. Entrants from a recent painting competition hung outside near the entrance to the free car park, and posters invited entries for upcoming cake, and tortilla competitions.

Back outside, I strolled up the main street to see the impressive rise of the mountains and made a rough note of the Barranco del Chijas, an old ravine route that I intent to re-walk soon. Lower down in town the modern murals showed the pride in the agricultural past of the area. Colourful artistic brush strokes made their own impressions as I took a break for a coffee in one of the many well priced bars and cafes. There are some fine restaurants as well, popular with evening visitors due to their price and quality.

The market is just a weekend attraction but Valle San Lorenzo is worth visiting any time, the journey up and down from the coast offers great views. The green public buses of the TITSA company run frequently through Valle San Lorenzo, look for the 416 and 417. I didn´t have long to wait under the shade of a tree for the free bus back to Los Cristianos, bang on time again.

Microalgas Get The Brush Off As Harbour Wall Gets The Brush Up

With impeccable timing, two environmental projects set up camp at each end of Los Cristianos harbour. As a crane was winching in a new ocean cleaning boat to combat the annoying nemesis, microalgas , from the Canary Island seas, the top deck of the harbour wall was getting some new marine murals to update the big painting project of 2013.

Assurances of their harmlessness still left 2017 holiday makers a little wary as the photosynthetic algae discoloured the sea, particularly around Tenerife. The Canary Islands government (Gobierno) are taking no chances this time and have bought two boats from Cadiz based Ocean Cleaner to patrol the 29,000 kms of coast around he eight islands (including La Graciosa just north of Lanzarote). One will be based in Puerto Colon, Tenerife, and the other in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, and they come at a joint price of 1.2 million euros. They are versatile and as well as collecting any microalgas that are generated by extreme temperatures, they can also collect plastic residues.

We do tend to vote with our eyes, the last two makeovers of the harbour wall in Los Cristianos have been big winners but nature has faded, cracked, and flaked some of the upper areas so the experts from the University of La Laguna art department are back for a month to add new vibrancy to the artistic sea scape. Paula Calavera, an art teacher at ULL, and an accomplished artist in her own right, has two helpers with her for a month, working in the mornings before the sun unleashes its full power.
Working from a master plan, they have been drawing on the outlines before spraying and rolling the paint to create the full effect of the sea life that thrives around the local waters. Paula´s work already graces a special place in Santa Cruz, as head of the team that restored a reproduction Cesar Manrique mural. The Plaza San Juan Bautista is home to the flying fish (Pez Volador) that looks down on the fortnightly gathering of the Armada Sur as we lubricate our voices before cheering on CD Tenerife.

Tides may ebb and flow but the importance of the sea to Los Cristianos never fades. Walking the harbour wall is a daily pleasure of mine, so it´s nice to know that thought is being given to the welfare of the wall, and the local pride that surrounds it on dry land and out at sea.

Arona En Colores Puts Las Galletas Streets Ahead

They really cast their nets wide in Las Galletas. The fishing village on the other side of Guaza mountain from Los Cristianos played host to tradition and technology, spectacle and sport, and music and monsters as they welcomed the annual Arona En Colores fiesta to the south of Tenerife.

Stages were popping up where the narrow street corners met, and by the large, modern, urban park, and all ages were catered for. Break dancing was the focal point of La Rambla, just behind the pebble beach promenade, just one part of youth expression that also included judo, art, and electronic sports in other streets. Tradition was looked after with a photo exhibition of the fishing history of the area, 21 bronze plaques embedded in the floor of Paseo de los Pescadores ensure the leading families of the trade are forever honoured.

For a rather uncomfortable view of the world there was a 180 degree tumble in a car, great to encourage traffic safety awareness and in car safety features, but best not tried after generous portions of tapas and beer. Live theatre stirred the emotions in a different way as The Lion King roared onto the biggest stage in town. Young children, and young at heart parents, were entranced by the familiar songs, but the nippers could have done with a slightly lower stage surround to see the action without a lift up from the adults. There was more musical influenced muscle stretching in the sports hall for a roller dancing competition. My last venture into the Pabellon Deportes was for a roller hockey match, this was more serene and attracted full tiered seating down the whole of one side of the hall.

Back in the criss cross hub of the pedestrian shopping area, my eye was caught by Lilies Garden Tearoom. There was an Alice In Wonderland theme going on, the famous book was written by an Oxford academic, and it took my mind back to my childhood. There was no need to gaze Through The Looking Glass to get the full effect of the scaley monster towering over me around the next corner. As the street wide inflatable bar football pitch, and bouncy castles pressed against the walls of another side turn, bigger boys were admiring rows of powerful motor bikes from classic names like Porsche, BMW, Harley, and many more.


Even seated outside the Marazul for a meal, there was plenty to watch. A magician, and a strong man couldn’t erase the smiles from their female partners, even when perpetrating dastardly deeds on them. And size really didn’t matter for a stunning performance. A petite young lady placed a pink rose at the edge of a coffee table sized stage she was stood on and then doubled up backwards to pick up the flower in her mouth. Puppets, and wheels of fortune were also enticing people to stop and interact with street performers.

As darkness crept in, music wafted through the air from all corners. The crowds were getting bigger as the night time crowd poured in to swell the walkways and the tills. No Tenerife fiesta would be complete without a carnaval troup of dancers, the white clad ladies obliged, sweeping through all the streets with an eager following of disciples. It was another big winner, and a great sampler for those who had not made the short trip to this vibrant and diverse area.

People To Remember And A Season To Forget

Goodbye, and in some cases good riddance were the sentiments as CD Tenerife ended their troubled season with a 1-0 home win over Real Zaragoza. A few players heard their names chanted by the 11,652 crowd, recognition of their efforts for the cause but others will feel the recriminations as they are cut loose as change rips through the club. The night was all about praising two departing defensive heroes, Raul Camara got a rare start, 35 years old and 174 Tenerife games down the line, his contract is not being renewed, the little tiger dug deep to sign off with his customary energy and hard tackling. Jorge Saenz oozed class as the local born 22 year old showed why Valencia were so eager to sign him for next season.

Big changes are needed, coach Sampedro in the last of his four game deal, gave league debuts to 24 year old goalie Angel Galvan, and 20 year old B team holding midfielder Javi Alonso from Adeje. Loaned out to lower league teams and then rooted to the bench as back up to Dani Hernandez, the keeper impressed with a triple save in the opening minutes. A deflection needed an agile push away, another touch repelled the returning ball, and a decisive high take was needed when Gual tried a shot through a crowd of players. Pombo tested Angel again with a blast that he held firmly. Zaragoza were also free of any lingering relegation worries so the tempo of the game wasn´t full on but it was still competitive.

Nano continued his poor form by missing a golden chance when Naranjo set him up, the shot went outside the post when it looked easier to score. Alonso looked comfortable just in front of the back four, it allowed Tenerife to build some good creative moves. Montañes was another home player eager to avoid the squad cut, he had a strong first half including a neat set up for Naranjo that was snuffed out by the goalie after a weak shot. Jorge could have crowned his farewell with a headed goal from a corner but the goalie reacted well. Tenerife had a penalty shout after Eguaras brought down Naranjo, at least the refusal was consistent with other visiting refs. Carlos Ruiz replaced Alberto after the break, an outstanding May earned the veteran another years contract. Tenerife desperately wanted to end the season with a win, Nano made it come true with a well headed goal from a Luis Milla cross before Zaragoza had settled for the second half. It was only the strikers third goal of the season, Malbasic and Naranjo had six each, big clues to he teams struggle this season.

The mature home defenders rolled back the years, Carlos Ruiz won a hard tackle and got in a half shot, Raul Camara did a great clear up and then went down after winning a crunching tackle. Although he got back up, the defender gave way to Luis Perez a few minutes later, his departure brought a crescendo of applause. Zaragoza went close to levelling as they pinged a shot off the post, it was soon followed by another diving save from Angel. Could Naranjo offer some argument to keep him for a second season, his sliced shot over the visitors bar gave a resounding no. As for Nano, he was subbed for Tyronne, both forwards look ripe for unloading. The game was winding down, Jorge got a big cheer when he blocked Gual, the player of the season gets better all the time, and many expect him to make the step up to the senior Spain squad in the next few seasons.

A Malbasic miss and Angel save, and the game was over. Raul and Jorge posed for photos with their team mates in front of the stand before running to the home stronghold behind the goal to receive the adoration and thanks of the fans. The special bond that exists between players that honour the shirt, and the fans, is strong. Luis Milla is the biggest remaining star at Tenerife, fighting off his many admirers this summer will be tough. Constant chants for the resignation of President Concepcion rained down during the match, but he shows no sign of stepping aside. The next coach has a big rebuilding job to do, the club have already moved quickly to add a 20 year old midfielder, Alex Bermejo, from Espanyol B team. The line up for next seasons opening game will be very different but the fans will be back with renewed passion and hope.

Arona Combined Events Reaches Out To The Olympics

As the world took a long run up the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Tenerife stole the spotlight by providing an early qualifier with Austrian heptathlete Verena Preiner recording the third best score of 2019 with 6,472 points, shaving 52 points off the entrance mark. Verena´s last event 800 metre victory was a fitting finale to the  Arona Combined Events weekend in Playa de Las Americas. With full recognition by athletics governing body,the IAAF, and meeting points counted to competitors rankings, it’s become a magnet for potential champions. For the latestedition it was even streamed world wide on You Tube.

Eleven countries were represented in the 10 event mens decathlon, and seven event womens heptathlon, with Brazil, Estonia, and for the first time the United States. The setting of the Estadio Antonio Dominguez showed Tenerife in its best light, and as always a large team of local volunteers backed up athletics coaches and administrators from Arona, to ensure all ran smoothly. I dipped into the Saturday and Sunday morning sessions, arriving as the mens long jump, and ladies high jump competed for attention, although the giant screen relayed all the action. In between warm ups, warm downs, and frantic bursts of on track action, I caught up with the USA trio, Curtis Beach, Dan Golubovic, and Teddi Maslowski. Curtis explained how they came to make their first visit to Tenerife.

“ We don’t get any meetings solely focussed on combined events back home, so as our coach from Duke University in North Carolina was away for June, it seemed a perfect time to try a different competition. I flew over via London, and Dan via Madrid, the organisers, especially Victor and Javier have been very welcoming and helpful so it’s made it easy for us to settle in. I arrived a few days ahead of the event and managed to see Mount Teide and some of the beaches. I’m from New Mexico so I felt quite at home in the dry heat. There was a little head wind for the 100 metres on the first day that slowed the times a little but we’ve been able to push ourselves ready for the USA Championships in July.”

It turned out to be a particularly good meeting for Dan who finished in fourth place after the two days, ending with a flourish after topping his group in the javelin on the Sunday evening. Teddi, from Pittsburgh, made light of a niggling injury to have a solid two days including a 5th place in the long jump.
“ We’ve come without a coach so are pushing each other, it gives us a different approach to usual but makes for a more relaxed attitude. I came over with a little fracture in my leg from a long jump in the States two weeks ago but I’m working though that, I even managed to tackle a camel ride during some exploring when I got here. It’s our first time here so it’s been good to see the beauty of the island, I visited a few places around the coast, like Los Gigantes.”
All competitors get three nights in the Zentral Hotel, just along from the stadium, but many have chosen to stay on for extra days elsewhere around the island to relax with family supporters.

Every year brings a good sized contingent from Great Britain and Ireland, this year there were seven, including Andrew Murphy from East Kilbride who took seventh place overall, the long jump gave him a big opening push on the Saturday morning. Scott Connal, a 19 year old from Edinburgh also made a big opening leap to propel him to third place in the Under 20 Decathlon. Other notable achievements from back home came in the long jump with a 6th place for GBs Jenna Blundell in her group, and top spot for Holly McArthur and 3rd for Anna McCauley in their javelin as well as long jump group. Hot weather training and competition works well for athletes but some take the reverse route, 19 year old Marissa Vaz of Portugal has been living and training in Sheffield.

The Arona Pruebas Combinado doesn’t just bring publicity to Tenerife, it also has a practical influence on local athletes. Between the main competiton events, clubs from Arona run their own youth events, giving the next generation a taste of bigger competitions and a chance to learn by seeing experienced performers in action. There’s a lot more than raw power to being a winner, technique counts for a lot, the javelin, and shot putt were good examples of that. As for the pole vault, the splattering of coloured markers to guide the leapers to their launch spots took almost slide rule precision. The sight of Manuel Dias clearing the bar with Roque del Conde in the background was a combination of strength and grace.

There was plenty of inspiration over the weekend, Norway’s Martin Roe was solid in all the disciplines to take the Mens Senior Decathlon, he also picked up a 250 euro bonus for his 8,037 points, ahead of Kristen Rosenberg of Estonia a good gap away in second with 7879 points. The Senior Heptathlon battle between Verena Preiner and Noor Vidts of Belgium, brought out the best in both of them and 3rd placed Vanessa Chefer of Brazil. Jorge Dani Lopez took the Decathlon Under 20 title, the Heptathlon Under 20 was a Spanish clean sweep for Nuria Menendez Sanchez, with Ivet Rovira Figueras in second, and Alba Ramirez Martin in third.

Looking forward to 2020, it’s not just the Olympic year, but also the 10th year of the Arona Combined Events. With the commitment shown by Arona Council, and the athletics community, it will be another weekend to look forward with relish.

CD Tenerife Crawl Over The Survival Line

Sighs of relief replaced the hoped for roars of victory as CD Tenerife shared a passive 0-0 draw at Lugo. After 70 minutes it looked grim as survival rivals Rayo Mahadahonda led 1-3 at Real Oviedo. That would have condemned shot shy Tenerife to a nerve shredding final game at home to Real Zaragoza with a win their only chance of staying in the Segunda Division. All the drama came at the other game as Oviedo fought back to win 4-3, mobiles and hand signals kept the anxious players in the loop at Lugo and confirmed their Houdini act.

As a game, the goal less draw exposed all the flaws that have haunted Tenerife all season, silly errors, no cohesion, and poor finishing. The passion of injured Captain Suso was sorely missed, the calming influence of Jorge was also absent due to suspension, and the undoubted midfield talent of Racic was left on the bench after a night club appearance on social media when he was out injured. Carlos Ruiz kept his place in the centre of defence and made a well timed clearance from a Viera raid in the opening minutes. Alberto showed his defensive qualities when he blocked his former Tenerife team mate Iriome

Isma Lopez was back in midfield, he added width on the Tenerife left and forced a save from the home goalie. Right back Luis Perez tried a lob shot from midfield but it fizzled out when it reached the keeper. Left back Hector Hernandez also had attacking thoughts and tested the goalie with a hanging cross. Lugo, also fighting relegation, came more into the game, after Alberto lost the ball, Herrera tried to tuck a shot inside Dani Hernandez but found him at his best. The away goalie was sharp again to deny a crisp shot from Lazo. The best Tenerife move of the game came from Malbasic, he easily beat Luis Ruiz in midfield and threaded his way past two defenders before unleashing a fierce shot that the home goalie tipped over the bar. Nano also had a half chance but slipped as he shaped up for a shot that went high of the target.

Lugo turned up the pressure, Luis Ruiz flashed a shot just wide of the Tenerife post. Naranjo tripped over his own feet just before the break, another reminder of his paltry six goal haul this season. The second half saw more tense moments as Carlos Ruiz tidied up another Lugo raid. Lazo conjured a home chance out of nothing but his cross cum shot went begging as team mates were too slow to add a touch into the net. Every minute that passed was another turn of the screw for both sides. Nano hit a soft shot at the home goalie before being subbed. It was a crucial moment, Mahadahonda’s had just taken a 1-3 lead and Tenerife needed to attack and go for a win. Coach Sampedro made the wrong switch, striker Coniglio has been even less inspiring than Nano and a midfielder or defender should have been going off. Coniglio is at least consistent, a good cross from the right picked him out but he didn´t even get near to putting it in the goal.

Milla wasted a short corner as the deficit was reduced at Oviedo. Montañes replaced Lopez, and Dani missed an easy high cross to make the nerves jangle a bit more. It´s difficult to criticise Dani, a few glaring errors have crept into the Venezuelan international number ones game but he has saved Tenerife so many times. A probing Lugo cross in the 84th minute was expertly cut out by Dani just before Racic took over from his fellow Serbian, Malbasic. Crowd excitement alerted the players to the equalising goal at Oviedo as both games went into injury time. Tenerife heard the final whistle first and agonising seconds later the last gasp Mahadahonda winner and full time seeped through. Even Hitchcock or Spielberg would have struggled to come up with anything so dramatic. The Tenerife players joy may be short lived, many seem to expect cosmetic summer tinkering to the squad, but a ruthless cull is needed, and there is no shortage of candidates for the exit door.