CD Tenerife clip the Pios wings

Happy and hung over, the 2,000 strong army of travelling CD Tenerife fans can hold their heads high after a great 1-0 away win against Las Palmas in Gran Canaria yesterday. Those pesky Pios are now another step nearer the relegation zone while Tenerife can use this as a launch pad for their promotion bid.

The Armada Sur gathered at the Royal Oak in Las Americas for a liquid breakfast and a 10am coach trip up to the ferry port in  Santa Cruz. With surprising promptness we were up and running and in good singing voice as we headed up the motorway. It’s a whole hour to Santa Cruz so we of course made our usual half way stop at the Oasis bar for extra singing juice. Sitting outside in the sun we met a middle aged British couple who were heading over to Gran Canaria for a few days break, I think they were suitably impressed when we told them that all the ferries would be bulging with Tenerife football fans.

Armas ferry

Arriving at the port we had time to grab a quick beer at the bar and meet some of the other Tenerife fans that had arrived early for the later and faster ferries. Thanks to the television companies wrangling over who should show “El Classico” and when, booking the ferries at barely a weeks notice left us a bit more fragmented than usual. Normally the Armada Sur go on the one hour Fred Olsen ferry into Agaete, an hours drive from Las Palmas, but this time we were booked on to the larger Naviera Armas ferry that takes 2 and a half hours and goes straight into Las Palmas port. As we piled on board the rain arrived but it couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm, neither could over ambitious attempts to smuggle our own beer aboard, the police confiscated quite a haul from the 500 or so fans on board, they said we could have it back later – yeah really!

What a posh ferry this was, most swarmed around the large circular bar downstairs but some of us headed to the top deck where a swimming pool lurked dangerously close to another bar. The ferry company had been warned that we might like the odd half of shandy but even so they ran out of beer after an hours sailing, I was forced to go onto rum and coke, then they decided to close the bars – i’m sure that infringes our human rights.

Pool bar

We amused ourselves with some community singing and dumped a cuddly Tweetie Pie (a yellow Pio and therefore fair game) Â in the pool, instead of drowning it floated ,mockingly, despite our attempts to bombard it. With the bars closed and the prospect of arriving in Las Palmas 2 hours before kick off, some of the Armada Sur decided to slip away from our police cordon and get taxis into Santa Catalina, a busy bar area. The owner of the bar we descended on must have thought it was christmas as we get the beer flowing and invited local shoppers to join our party.

We suddenly realised it was getting very near to the 5.30 kick off and time to flag down some taxis, unfortunately I went to the toilet only to come back and find they had all gone. Luckily I quickly found a cab and got to the ground, the driver wouldn’t go right up to the entrances so I was left to suffer the verbal abuse (I had my Tenerife shirt on of course) of hordes of Pio fans. The General had given us all out tickets in advance so at least I knew the number entrance I needed.

The Game

Once in, I joined the swirling flags and colours of the CDT fans in the corner of the ground that we had been assigned. We rode our luck a bit and had our goalie Sergio Aragonoses to thank for some great saves but were giving as good as we got. After 30 minutes Aragoneses made a deep clearance and Alfaro jinked past his marker, Ramos, and beat the home goalkeeper to send the CDT fans wild. Not blessed lately with great defensive performances, we were a bit sceptical about keeping the Pios out, but the team stood firm and the final whistle signalled wild celebrations from the blue and white fans and the inevitable shower of missiles from the Pio fans, of course we didn’t gloat – MUCH.

Tenerife fans gloat

We had to wait well over an hour for our coach to be allowed out of the stadium car parkbut eventually we were off to the port and up the gang plank. Guess where we stopped first? no, not the souvenir shop, the bar. It was quite a liquid trip home, fair play to our police escorts, they struck their usual menacing poses but left us to enjoy our celebrations in good voice. The crossing seemed to fly by and we were soon on our coach and heading down the motorway to Tenerife South with great memories of another jolly derby day.