Archive for November, 2014
More Silver Linings Than Clouds In CD Tenerife Draw

Purposefully prowling his area, marshalling his defenders, and flexing his body for some great saves, Carlos Abad defied Mallorca and some horrendous weather to star in CD Tenerife’s 0-0 home draw.

This was a test of character for the players and under fire coach Cervera, and although that match winning edge was missing, it was like a rub down with a warm, fluffy towel for the faithful 5,874 who braved howling winds and rain of biblical proportions. The walnut on the whip for Carlos was an injury time finger tip diving save from Marco that secured the point but there were other performances to admire.

A whole island groaned after last weeks sendings off seemed to condemn us to Aridane as the main starting striker, Cervera had other ideas and paired Guarrotxena with Suso in wide support. Vitolo was back in midfield and that added stability, Cristo Martin struck a fierce shot just before the half hour that Cabrero cleared with a two fisted block and Guarrotxena tried his luck with a header that was off target.

Play was pretty even, Mallorca relied on Pereira breaking down the left for their inspiration, the home defence got a little bogged down as the rain got heavier but Carlos built his confidence with good handling and decisive interventions. The half time break was the cue for the rain to open the tap a few more turns, Carlos had his wipers working overtime to pick out a low shot from Pereira and with movement on the bench we half expected to see Aridane lumber on but Cervera caught us out again by giving a debut to midfielder Cristo Diaz in place of Ricardo.

Suso cut inside for a short range header that was saved before Aridane finally arrived for Guarrotxena. It was difficult to play passing football with the pitch turning into a glue pot but both teams got stuck in and didn’t shirk the tackles. Diaz got through plenty of work and even picked up a booking for his full bloodied commitment, the final change brought the arrival of Maxi for Kike with just two minutes remaining. The curly haired winger had a clear sight of goal, on a dryer pitch he may well have scored but two defenders squeezed him and the ball held up slightly and his contact wasn’t firm enough. Four minutes of added time raised the tension, and the water level, Carlos ensured Tenerife got what they deserved, given the past weeks events it was definitely a point gained.


Storm Force CD Marino Go Four Points Clear

Menacing clouds and an orange alert storm warning hung over Los Cristianos but some blue sky football from CD Marino saw off second placed UD Lanzarote with a rearranged Wednesday afternoon home 1-0 victory.

From Sesma’s clever head down and run through after seven minutes Marino’s attacking intentions were clear. Missed chances in the 0-0 draw with CD Tenerife B cost Pibe his starting role up front, his replacement Nestor nearly struck 10 minutes in as he eluded the floundering goalie but put his shot over the bar. Marchena made a determined dash down the left but also missed the target. Lanzarote started to make an impression, Mauri burst through on the right but his big boot forward was swallowed by the home defence.

Sergio Aragoneses suffered a leg muscle tweak in the warm and Alberto took his place between the sticks and performed an impressive tip over after the half hour. Mauri switched wings and his determination found some reward when he hassled three markers to force a corner. At the other end Balduino spotted an opening but the visiting defence was alert and cut out his chance. Rosmen was a big target man for Lanzarote but he was marked well and Alberto was always ready to snaffle up any loose balls.

The promised rain greeted the players for the second half but it was nothing like the downpour that wiped out the original fixture a month ago. The pitch was firm and so were Marino, they pushed forward and Eslava was quick witted to crouch into a header from a Sesma corner pass and it whizzed by the visiting keeper to take the lead. Lanzarote attempted a quick reply but their attacks floundered on the goalkeeping rock called Alberto. Balduino should have done better with a shot that flashed across the Lanzarote goalmouth but they looked comfortable with their advantage. Pibe and Kevin came off the home bench and saw plenty of action, especially Kevin who had a hopeful half shout for a penalty after going down in the box.

The game got a bit ragged as the pitch started to cut up and tackles got wilder. Lanzarote allowed themselves to be side tracked by some personal duels, their sub Crisci had their best chance but Alberto cleared with a strong header. For the last five minutes of the game the red visitors got their act together and applied some pressure. The ball pinged around the home goal, clipping the post before Alberto could get his hands on it, Raul thought that his shot had sneaked over the line but the ref thought otherwise.

That signaled the end of the game, a couple of the Lanzarote players didn’t go quietly to the changing room, it was a big defeat for them from two storm interrupted island crossings. For CD Marino the coast is clear at the top of their Tercera group, the only down side of the win was a leg injury to Javi late on that saw him carried off.

The Glories Of Art And The Sea In Santa Cruz

Pimp my ride, go on pimp it, actually as my ride to Santa Cruz was a Titsa public bus it’s probably advisable not to give it a wild makeover. Thankfully others had been more daring and part of my days quest was to track down some of the 10 cars parked up and perked up by the power of paint.

These brush or spray strokes were to highlight the musical art festival of Keroxen and their Friday night concerts at El Tanque, the former petrol tank is itself no shrinking violet when it comes to free expression. The car project was overseen by Sabotaje El Montaje, the movement that transformed the bus shelters on the motorway run in to Santa Cruz. As always some of my planned calls for the day were fruitless but there are always plenty of other discoveries to change my plans.

Parque Garcia Sanabria is always a pleasant diversion and this time the long abandoned Visitors Centre was open and promoting the virtues of the many sculptures around the city. Two exhibitions of “Sculptures In The Streets” took place in 1973 and 1994 and I have added most of them to my files over the years but with little knowledge of their background. The Visitors Centre has them all mapped out and a handy fold up guide in Spanish and English can turn your day into a tick off tour of Santa Cruz.

Further down in Plaza del Principe a series of notices linked great writers to Tenerife. Agatha Christie’s short story based on a stay in Puerto de la Cruz has been widely recognized but I was surprised to learn that Leslie Charteris wrote a short novel in 1937 about The Saint chasing diamond smugglers around the north of the island. After further digging I found that “Thieves’ Picnic” was used as the basis for a Roger Moore TV episode in 1965 – that really raised my eyebrow.

There were three giant cruise ships in port, an increased police presence in the shopping zones showed how much the start of this busy season is appreciated by local traders. I had a wander in the direction of the old port and marina, there are always interesting visitors. A triple mast German training ship, Thor Heyerdahl was stocking up, a crew member told me most of the others had gone to visit Teide but would return to help prepare for a 6 month voyage to Panama. I might have been tempted to sign on but Coldplay was blaring out, half a year of that and I would have been swimming back to Tenerife.

Smaller but equally eye catching was a neat looking vessel with Music Fund on the side. Hailing a crew member I discovered it was a charity boat using music to inspire youth in poor and needy countries, Haiti was the next destination. Under the name of Florestan Around The World they carried a full load of assorted instruments. The Belgium chap I spoke to was himself an organ player and repairer and was in awe of the famous organ in the nearby Auditorium, he had even arranged to pop in and tinkle the keyboard. As the clouds rolled in I headed off for my tour of the Cepsa refinery having already made several strikes in the sea of knowledge, and I didn’t even mention Christmas – oh damn that’s blown it.


CD Marino Fuming At Ref As CD Tenerife B Raid A Point

It was daylight robbery under floodlights, Marino’s Aridani struck a goal bound injury time shot and a visiting defender stopped it with his hand. A bumper Saturday night crowd screamed for the penalty but the ref wasn’t having it and blew the whistle on a tight 0-0 game.

That was the big talking point but Marino were guilty of poor finishing during the game and that combined with resolute defending from Tenerife put the brakes on their runaway leadership of their Tercera section. It was a cagey opening half hour, Tenerife have quietly moved up into third place and are a strong side, the pitch was greasy from pre match rain and neither side wanted to make any slip ups. Home keeper Sergio Aragoneses was rarely tested against his old club but raced out of his goal after 13 minutes to clear danger with a header that any forward would be proud of.

Jorge is knocking on the senior door for Tenerife and the central defender had a strong game apart from a slightly hesitant back pass that gave goalie Dani a wake up call. Pibe and Amado both had speculative shots but they teams took the break on level terms.

Cristo Gonzalez replaced Carballo for Tenerife to start the second half, he looked lively and made some inroads into the Marino defence but the end product was lacking. Captain Jordan got through plenty of work as he marshaled the midfield and helped to break up the Marino raids as they searched for a breakthrough.

Nestor replaced Sesma up front for the blues and was aggressive and determined but still the goal wouldn’t come. Airam blasted a good chance high and a free kick stung Dani’s hands as he turned the ball aside with a full length dive. Marchena tried to unlock Tenerife down the flank but Federico stuck close to him to cut out the service. At the other end Sergio spilled a rare Tenerife shot but recovered to gather the ball at the second attempt. It was heading for a draw that would be more valuable to the visitors, one last surge produced the penalty appeal, as the players trudged off the ref received plenty of personal advice from the crowd and blue players but shrugged it all off.

Inside The Pipeline At Cepsa Refinery Santa Cruz

Oil is a dirty word in the Canary Islands these days as protestors hoist their banners against permission for exploratory drilling around the western islands. The industry is nothing new to the islands, the Cepsa refinery has been part of the landscape on the approach to Santa Cruz since 1930 so with a few days of free guided tours on offer I thought it was about time I got to see how it all worked.

Massive, that’s the only way to describe the 500,000 square metre complex, the outside view did little to prepare me for the sheer scale of the pipelines, storage tanks, and towers. Two coach loads of us were picked up from outside the capital’s bus station, it’s currently overshadowed by three oil rigs in port for repairs, another clue to the timing of the open doors charm offensive. Driving into the complex the first thing I noticed was the big self contained bomberos station with some pretty heavy duty fire fighting power parked outside. It’s not all hard nosed science and technology, they’re a nostalgic lot, the original iron gates of the refinery and a scattering of early equipment had their own proud corner.

First stop was a presentation in the exhibition hall, a whizz through the company history and some off their background. Cepsa has a presence in four continents and 15 countries including depots in the Tees and West Thurrock, Sussex areas of the UK. CEPSA (Compania Española de Petroleo SA) is these days owned by Abu Dhabi based IPIC (International Petrol Investment Company) and employs 11,000 people, 400 in Santa Cruz. The distillation process provides gas, electricity, and asphalt as well as the more obvious petrol, crude oil, and specialist fuel for planes and boats. I was eager to see the nuts and bolts of the refinery, back on the coach we took a slow drive through the interconnecting streets, they are all named like in a small city.

Dusk was falling and the towers and tanks towered over us, it was noticeable that hardly any people were around on foot and warning signs marked the different levels of restricted access. A scrap metal dealer would have been licking his lips at this point, I was mesmerized by the assortment of valves and controls, there were also emergency warning alarms at various points and fixed metal hoses trained on some of the key areas. There’s even a small ravine, Barranco del Hierro, that runs down through the plant. Arriving at the top end of the site we were able to walk around the viewing platform that looks over the motorway to the small port where petrol tankers can dock.

Next stop was the nerve centre, the control hall where everything is constantly monitored. The pipeline plans on the computer screens were like a complicated train network and everything from temperature to pressure is watched over. I was surprised at the relaxed atmosphere; I would have been constantly on edge if I had so much responsibility at my fingertips. The system allows any section of pipe work to be closed down instantly in the event of an emergency. Cepsa do a lot of sponsorship in the Canarian community, I was pleased to see a signed and framed CD Tenerife shirt holding pride of place in one of the inner management offices.

Our last stop was outside the reception area where children were encouraged to clamber inside a large fire truck while we enjoyed a buffet and drinks. The three hour tour was very slick and informative, there has been much media discussion about possible closure of the plant and plans produced for a leisure development on the site but I would imagine it would take years and a pretty impressive socket set to dismantle this giant.



Hands That Give And Take In CD Tenerife Draw

If this had been a Subutteo game goalie Roberto of CD Tenerife would have been the one on a clumsy old metal stick while Manu of Deportivo Alaves would have been the hi tech flexi plastic version we all wanted. If your scratching your head to work out where the batteries would have gone, I will put it more bluntly, Roberto had another mare and Manu was an inspired, frustrating barrier in the 1-1 home draw.

There were a few other factors to blame for not making it three straight wins, a slow start with Suso struggling to find his groove, and a tendency to overcook the build up before taking a pop at the target. Carlos Ruiz could have kick started the party after eight minutes, he latched onto a Moyano cross and was unlucky to see his cracking shot ping away off the post. Suso tried the left side of the pitch and got a free shot but Manu took it cleanly.

The Alaves opener was partially due to poor defending as Raul Camara backed off from Ion Velez but it should have been a bread and butter save for Roberto , sadly it was more like a dogs dinner as he completely missed the ball. It just didn’t click for Tenerife in the first half, the visitors were happy to sit back on their lead so it was all left for the second half. There was a surprise when Hugo Alvarez didn’t come out after the break, Vitolo dropped back alongside Ruiz and Aridane came on to play a more interchangeable forward role with Ifran.

We were treated to the rare sight of Aridane sending in a good cross from the right for Ifran to meet, a defensive header cleared the danger but it was encouraging. Cristo Martin had an eye for goal, he saw his net bound strike skew off a defender to safety. Alaves tried to help our cause, Medina, already booked for one clumsy challenge made an even cruder one on Cristo and was red carded with 30 minutes to play. Kike Rivero replaced Ricardo to tweak the home midfield but Manu tightened his gloves and his resolve and set about defying Tenerife. The ball broke to Aridane from a corner, he turned and fired just wide, Cristo shaped up for a far post shot only to see Manu get down to turn the ball aside.
The leveler was well worked, Suso took the ball to the byline on the right and slipped it through a crowd of defenders to Ifran who finished with style. The striker turned supplier with a tempting ball to Aridane who was a bit too slow for the goalie who smothered the ball. Ifran tried a repeat of his wonder goal at Zaragoza, forced wide by Manu he tried to screw the ball in at the post but a defender had raced back in time to add a clearing touch. A double block was Manu’s star turn, punching a certain goal out and then saving from Ruiz.

The four minutes of added time offered some late hope, Suso was upended by Elberon, it looked a clear spot kick but in the refs eyes it was a booking for Suso. Sub Uli Davila could have proved his claim for more game time, Ifran opened the door for him but he hit the post. An in form goalie and some bad luck maybe but we should have beaten 10 men. A booking for Vitolo will sideline him for next Sunday’s game at bottom placed Llagostera, overall form is much better and there is a feeling that our Dorada is half full rather than half empty

A Time To Remember In Tenerife

The years passed and the miles traveled focused the memories at the British Legion remembrance service at Westhaven Bay, Costa del Silencio. Uniforms, medals, and flags reflected conflicts around the globe involving British servicemen, it’s 100 years since the outbreak of World War One but the determination to remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice is as strong as ever.

The work of the British Legion is always relevant with many of the armed forces still active in current conflicts. The Tenerife branch are very active, the Noel Rogers trophy at the alter is a testimony to their position as the biggest fund raiser among the legion’s overseas groups. In between the hymns and prayers the several hundred gathered for the service dug deep to fill the collecting boxes.

The holiday complex setting around the pool made an informal but easily accessible venue and the views out across the sweeping bay added a glorious reminder of foreign shores that will live on in the memory. Although the act of remembrance is a solemn service there were many smiles among the tears as old comrades were remembered and newer friendships were made. The lessons of war are still being learned by a new generation so it was good to see a multi national group of under 16 rugby players from the Nandu club from Adeje in attendance, their welsh coach Jamie Whelan is himself a former serviceman. The act of commitment was read out in English and in Spanish.

The Lords Prayer, Abide With Me, and The National Anthem were all observed immaculately, as was the laying of the wreaths at the alter. The bugle call of The Last Post by Jo Cassidy hung in the air and paved the way for the two minutes silence, a time for reflection, pride, and sadness. The only sound was the gentle lap of the tide in the bay. Former marine Rick Sweeney then led a small group down to the rocks for a wreath to be placed in the water. It was a very moving service and a fitting tribute to those who fought for their country.



Sweet Smell Of Victory In Stinker Of A Game

They drew the curtains at the nearby Green Clinic half way through this game, the patients had enough to cope with without this yawn fest of a 1-0 home win for CD Marino over Arucas. Goalmouth action was very limited as the game descended into a dull midfield chess match but it does keep Marino top of their group.

Former Marino coach Jose Almeida was back on familiar ground and based his game plan on a tight knit defence that pushed up high and passed back at the slightest hint of pressure. It didn’t make for the most cheery of Sunday mornings but they played the system well with captain and centre back Cigala dominating.

Looking for breaks where possible, their winger Borja looked to be through on the right after 12minutes but Eslava hooked the ball back out of his path expertly. It took Marino 20 minutes to muster a proper shot, the ball came into Sesma just in front of goal and although he leapt well his header went over the bar. That encouraged the home team to try for more, Pibe wasn’t getting much of the ball up front, Balduino had a hurried snatch of a shot but goalie Raul wasn’t worried by it.

Sesma was making good ground on the left and a defensive slip let him in to unleash a fierce shot, it agonizingly clipped the post and bounced slowly back into the penalty area where it was ushered away. A clumsy foul produced a Marino penalty on the half hour, Raul delayed the kick as he fiddled with his gloves, maybe it had an effect on Pibe, his weak kick was parried and gathered at the second attempt. Sergio Aragoneses in the home goal could have called for a deck chair, he was rarely troubled by the visitors and their lack of ambition.

There was a flurry of Marino activity before the break, Pibe had an effort smothered by Raul, and Marchena was also frustrated by the keeper after hitting a firm drive. Maybe Raul would be the hero for Arucas or maybe he was just thinking that when he missed an easy intercept and had to be bailed out by a defender. Marino had shown the most desire of the two teams and were rewarded with a tap in by Eslava from a corner to send them in 1-0 ahead.

Arucas needed to come out flying if they were to make a contest of it, they didn’t and the game deteriated. Sergio was again underused in goal but at least the home attack made a few chances, Balduino slid into a shot and sent the ball over the bar and Marchena made a couple of good runs that Arucas broke up before hoofing the ball up field. Lamine came on for Javi Jerez and tried to add some drive from the middle of the park, it should have brought a second goal as Raul was put under siege with 15 minutes left but the keeper made some strong close saves.

Nestor and Airam replaced Marchena and Sesma as the game wound to a close. Even if they had looked willing to chase a draw, Arucas didn’t have the players to trouble Marino and the final whistle was a relief all round, especially for the fans. Winning without being at your best is a good habit to have and Marino still have a game in hand on all their rivals.