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The New La Liga Season Is Upon Us – Be Part Of It

With the world cup barely over, Premier League transfer window shut and season under way, here in Spain the league kicks off tonight so we are taking a look at some of the summer transfer activity and what we can expect from the teams this season, especially local sides Valencia CF and Levante UD.

MAKE SURE YOU VISIT VALENCIA THIS SEASON WITH US AND ENJOY MATCHES AT BOTH VALENCIA AND LEVANTE! CONTACT US HERE

Although we want to talk about our two local clubs, the transfer story of the summer in Spain was of course the move for CR7 from Real Madrid to Juventus so we are starting in the capital.  Everyone will have their opinion on this move however VST thinks this is the beneficial deal for everyone concerned. This did start the Modric to Italy rumours which his Agent was all too happy to flame the fire, with the result being a big new bumper contract for the Croatian. A more cynical man might say this rumour was created for exactly this reason. No other moves out of the club have disrupted their first team. Coming in, high-profile transfers for World Cup Golden Glove winner Thibaut Courtois and €45million for 18-year-old Brazilian winger Júnior are the two that have court the eye plus solid full back Álvaro Odriozola moves to the capital from Real Sociedad. The Gareth Bale saga seems to have been put to bed with the move of Ronaldo with the Welsh man set to be their main man for the season under the new coach. Neymar to Real Madrid and now Pogba has been the talking point but both very unlikely, but a move for Valencia striker Rodrigo Moreno seems more likely with Los Che hoping to fend them off after a quality season last year. The Super Cup loss has the press chatting about further moves but we don’t see anything of any significance happening now.

A transformation last season by Valencia saw them back towards the top of the league and quite easily secured 4th spot and a champions league place. This brings its own problems with most of Europe’s big spenders sniffing around. This is not something Valencia aren’t used to with the likes of Silva, Mata, Villa, Alba, Otamendi, Soldado and more leaving for big fees in recent times. They have already put a big no entry sign up for Geoffrey Kondogbia (pictured) who some of the Premier League clubs had been sniffing around, a player who was a massive addition to the midfield on loan last year from Inter, who they took the option to buy this summer for €25m. Another exciting addition for Los Che is Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi who is on a season long loan. I think this is a great move for both parties and see the Belgium scoring an absolute hat full this term. An exciting season ahead and the fans and board alike will hope for no further loses during this final week and if this can be the case, then VST would expect another 4th place finish for Valencia CF.

CHECK ALL VALENCIA CF LEAGUE FIXTURES HERE

Levante UD were an unknown package last season. After smashing La Liga 2 securing promotion, the club were positive about the season ahead. With one win in just over 5 months after a great start, the writing seemed to be on the wall and relegation loomed. A change of manager early march and 25 points from a possible 33 to finish, including the 5-4 win over Barcelona to prevent an invincible season, they ended up a respectable 15th. For a small local family club like Levante, Bournemouth had been looking at a transfer for Columbian defensive midfielder Jerfferson Lerma prior to the world cup at a fee of around €17m, and this amount is hard to turn down. After an impressive tournament, he eventually left for a whopping €25m, a record sale for the club. It will be a big loss, but Levante have been quick to invest with club record signings for Ghanian hit man Raphael Dwamena (pictured) for €6m, before smashing this just a few days ago for attacking midfielder Nikola Vukcevic for €9m from Braga. Goals and quality in the final third were a big problem last season and with Nigerian winger Moses Simon also another quality attacking addition, they will hope all three hit the ground running. Defensively Coke has been bought from Schalke although the experienced Spaniard was with the club last term on loan. The big question is will the loss of Lerma affect the balance and defensive qualities. As big fans of the club here at VST (we are partnered with Levante UD as part of their international training programmes), we sincerely hope not.

CHECK ALL OF LEVANTE UD LEAGUE FIXTURES HERE

Last years champions have strengthened again with four purchases which will really add to the current side. Improving the spine and depth with new centre back Lenglet from Sevilla and central midfielders Arthur from Brazil and Vidal from Bayern will offer competition for places. Winger Malcom (pictured) has been on the radar for many of the top European sides but to Catalonia he has gone. Going out is world cup star Yerry Mina who looks a great buy for Everton but with minimal opportunities at the champions and €30m fee, this is a good move for Barca. A few other fringe players have made their exit but it is the loss of Iniesta which will be interesting to see how they fill this massive whole. The Xavi/Iniesta era is now over and what an era it was. It seems highly unlikely that any of the other top four sides will bridge the massive gap that is between them and Barcelona so money is on the champions to retain their title. But it is the Champions League that the supporters want to see an improvement in this season, nothing short of a win will do.

With Real Madrid going through more changes including the manager, losing their talisman and a pretty poor performance last year, Atletico Madrid are, for us, bang on for second place again this season. Their key players have stayed such as Griezmann, the defence is one of the best around, Costa will continue to produce and they have strengthened again this summer while getting rid of some of those surplice to requirements. One of the buys of the summer, although hardly a bargain at €63m, was Thomas Lemar. The former Monaco winger will be the perfect addition to the side, offering more pace, width and goals to the side. In addition the capture of proven La Liga holding midfielder Rodri will add even more stability. Improved in both defence and attack, Atletico are the only side who could potentially challenge Barcelona in our view. A decent start against Valencia away on match day one is vital.

CREATE YOUR PERFECT BESPOKE FOOTBALL WEEKEND IN VALENCIA, CLICK HERE AND GET IN TOUCH

Around the rest of the league, the other big money transfer outside of the top 4 and Valencia sides was Bilboa keeper Kepa to Chelsea for €80m. Sevilla as expected lost N’Zonzi to Roma and also winger Correa to Lazio and have used some of the money to try to find suitable replacements, Betis who had a great season last year finishing 6th, have picked up a decent defensive midfielder from Sporting Lisbon in William Carvalho and plenty of fringe players from the top 4 have found their way into other top flight Spanish sides and we can guarantee with varying success.

As always it will be interesting to see how the promoted sides take to the top flight. Last years promoted teams Getafe, Girona and Levante finished 8th, 10th and 15th (very) respectfully with the relegated teams a massive 14 points away from the next team in 16th. The three promoted in Valladolid, Huesca and Rayo Vallecano will need to hit the ground running to pick up some decent point over the first couple of months to stand any chance of staying up. It will be difficult for any of the chasing pack of Villareal, Betis and Sevilla to break into that top four this season. Only Villarreal we feel have potentially strengthened following summer sales with the hope Santi Corzola finds the fitness and quality to come back into the game in the best possible way following his terrible few years of injury. If Valencia however slip up, I have no doubt the Yellow Submarine will be ready to pounce.

A great season ahead of us and make sure you check all of the Valencia CF and Levante UD fixtures and contact us to book your package and tickets right now!

Our predictions –

Top 6

Barcelona
Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid
Valencia
Villareal
Sevilla

Relegated –

Leganes
Huesca
Valladolid

 

La Liga Coaches to Visit UK, Book Your Session

Levante UD International Training and Valencia Sports Tours continue their partnership with an exciting opportunity this Autumn for Schools and Clubs in the UK. For the very first time, we will be sending two of the Levante UD coaching staff to Essex and London for a week to deliver coaching sessions that will allow all those taking park to experience coaching of the very highest level and also the methodology and ethos that the club instill through their own academy to their top flight La Liga first team.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LEVANTE UD INTERNATIONAL TRAINING IN THE UK DOWNLOADABLE BROCHURE

All of the information is available via this direct link to the downloadable brochure. This is a unique opportunity and also great value. Levante UD are a club who pride themselves in their connection to the local Valencian community and you will experience this same passion within their coaching sessions in the UK. Click on the link to the brochure and book your sessions now!

Potential available coaching dates –
ESSEX AND SOUTH EAST – 8 – 12 November 2018 inclusive
KENT, SURREY, SUSSEX – Early 2019
MIDLANDS – Early 2019

CLICK HERE FOR THE LEVANTE UD INTERNATIONAL TRAINING IN THE UK DOWNLOADABLE BROCHURE

Should your school or club be interested in Levante UD staff coming to your area, please get in touch. Also, make sure you check out our trips to Valencia for clubs which can include sessions with Levante UD plus friendly matches against local opposition. For high level teams, potential matches vs the Levante UD academy sides are possible.

FITC Football Academy visit Valencia

The Essex based football academy FITC visited Valencia in May with 12 players (and 12 parents) and three coaches including the head of the academy, Nicky Fitch. The plan was to take in the footballing sites of the city before enjoying a coaching session with local top flight side Levante UD, before a friendly match against the same clubs academy, a very exciting prospect for both FITC and Valencia Sports Tours alike as this was our first collaboration with Levante UD in this manner.

Day 1 – Arrival and the Mestalla

With FITC staying for two nights, every part of the trip was taken care of. After the coach collected the group from the airport and checked into the hotel, following a little refreshment, it was back on the coach and straight to Valencia CFs famous Mestalla Stadium for a tour. A club steeped in history, with players such as Kempes, Ayala, Silva, Villa and more adorning the walls, plus the chance to take in the changing rooms and of course go pitchside and sit in the dugouts, this was a great way to start the tour for everyone involved. With all the football activities on day two, it was now time to relax for the rest of the afternoon and evening. With the FITC hotel accommodation featuring a great pool on the roof and the famous Valencia blue skies prominent, most of the group spent the afternoon in or around the water, while others took to the Turia park and a visit into the old town area of El Carmen. A three course meal included at the hotel brought everyone together in the evening before the long day took its toll.

Day 2 – Levante UD

Valencia Sports Tours partnership with Levante UD allows teams to come to Valencia and train at their facilities just north of the city. Should the visiting sides be of a high standard, we are also able to offer friendly fixtures against the Levante academy sides, offering both parties the opportunity to test their metal against international opposition. This is what FITC came for and the day didn’t disappoint.

The day started with the short drive to Levante’s stadium (Estadi Ciutat de Valencia) where they were greeted by Ferdi, one of their coaches for the session later on but also the man who would take the group around the club’s stadium. Levante has a very different feel to Valencia, a smaller club without as many trophies but more than a match with their history. Taking the kids into the Levante family was the message and this led perfectly into the coaching session which took place at their Buñol training ground. Ferdi and two other coaches (including the club’s youth goalkeeping coach) took an hour and a half session with FITC, working through exercises which encompassed the clubs methodology. Thoroughly enjoyed by all, this led into lunch before Nicky and his two FITC coaches had the opportunity to sit with Pablo Rota, head of methodology at Levante UD, an opportunity that was gratefully received by Nicky and his team.

Following a break and lunch, it was onto the game. The U12 side from Essex started with real pressure, fully dominating the opening period they were able to take control of the game with two goals unanswered in the first half, although Levante showed glimpses of what they could offer. Following the break a hard-fought game saw the home side come back with two second half goals to draw level but it was FITC who seemed to finish the stronger but honours remained even at the final whistle.

The day finished around the dining table at the hotel, discussing the day that had passed. With the evening of free time the final part of the trip before the coach back to the airport in the morning of Day 3, the time seemed to have flown by. The players, parents and staff all returned to the UK with many memories and positive experiences to take home with them.

We can’t wait to see FITC again in the future and thanks to Nicky and Daniel at Levante UD for their commitment to making the tour a successful one.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OUR TOURS, CONTACT US HERE

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON FITC AND THEIR ACADEMY IN ESSEX, VISIT THIER SITE HERE

Valencia CF and Levante UD La Liga Round Up

Valencia Mestalla

The weekend of 19 May saw two important events here in Valencia, my birthday and the final weekend of the La Liga season for our two local sides. Although in different halves of the table, both sides have achieved more than was expected of them, with both clubs and sets of fans very happy with the final positions.

Contact us now for information on 2018/19 packages for La Liga, Champions League and Copa Del Rey matches in Valencia

For Levante UD, after a stunning previous season that saw them walk the second division and secure promotion to the top flight, the prime target was stay in the league and not head straight back down. Levante started well with two wins and three draws in their first five matches (including a win against Villareal and draws away to Real Madrid and home to local rivals Valencia). However, things took a very sharp turn for the worse, with only one win from the end of September 2017 until the board sacked manager Muniz on 4 March 2018, the Granotas were in a very different position, precariously placed near the bottom of the table and a very bleak outlook. The board promoted reserve team coach and former Levante player Paco Lopez to take over until the end of the season. Although this temporary appointment didn’t fill Levante supporters with promise, it couldn’t have gone any better, in fact no one could quite believe the transformation. With a title chasing 25 points from an available 33, including a 5-4 home victory against Barcelona in the penultimate game of the season (the champions only defeat of an almost perfect season) Levante UD finished in a very respectable 15th, 17 points off the relegation zone and only 14 points away from a European spot. The club finished on a massive high and we hope they can take this into the new season.

Levante UD beat Barcelona 5-4 to stop their unbeaten season

Valencia CF were consistent from day one. With both Real and Athletico Madrid as opponents in their first 3 matches, drawing against both and winning their opener meant only Barcelona’s perfect start separating what would end up as the final top four teams. Valencia ran through until Xmas on good form with Real Madrid slipping up on several occasions, so by Xmas Eve, Valencia were just 2 points behind Athletico on 36 and 3 ahead of Real on 31. Form and morale was high and with Sevilla in 5th position with a very hit and miss type of season, it was Valencia’s champions league spot to lose.

2018 started well for Los Che, winning their first few matches and pulling away from a rocking Real Madrid side who drew to Celta Vigo and then lost at home to Villareal, before they undone all their hard work with a loss to Las Palmas, who would eventually be relegated. Then two further losses, a heavy 4-1 home defeat to Real followed by another to Athletico away the week after and the tables were finally turning. Would Valencia be able to rally and stay in contention? Yes they could! Back on track with wins against local rivals Levante and then bottom club Malaga saw them pick themselves up and move away from any challengers behind and well in contention for 3rd spot alongside Real Madrid, with Athletico Madrid the only side anywhere near Barcelona. The results kept coming, but with Real also moving at the same rate, Valencia ended up in a very strong 4th position on 73 points, some 12 points ahead of closest rivals Villareal and looking a completely different side to the one who finished 12th the previous year with just 46 points having suffered 18 losses. New manager Marcelino has done a fantastic job following on from ‘Caretaker’ manager Voro after he took the club through to the end of last season following a terrible period under Italian Prandelli.

So Valencia CF move into next season with Champions League football to look forward to and Levante UD looked every bit a decent side by the end of the season, with every chance of kicking on and shedding the yo-yo club moniker it has somewhat obtained from recent years. Moving into the 2018/19 season, there will more incredible matches like the 5-4 Levante win VS Barca, Real’s 4-1 win at the Mestalla, local derby matches, Copa Del Rey and Champions League to look forward to in Valencia. Make sure you take the opportunity to visit this wonderful city and experience the best sport in the world here too!

Barry Eaton

Contact us now for information on 2018/19 packages for La Liga, Champions League and Copa Del Rey matches in Valencia

 

Run in the IAAF Championships Half Marathon in Valencia, March 2018

The Valencia Half Marathon and Marathon are the first races in Spain to have received the IAAF Gold Standard label. The 2017  Valencia Half Marathon in October saw Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei break her own world record highlighting the climate and unique and fast course have put Valencia on the map as a primary destination for competitive and social running.

The IAAF/Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships as it is now officially named will be taking place on 24 March 2018, run as mentioned on a great running course, it also takes in some breathtaking sites before you take the final run to the finishing line within the stunning City of Arts and Sciences. The finest international athletes take part alongside social runners with 14,000 runners taking part in the 2017 edition.

YOU CAN BE PART OF THE 2018 IAAF HALF MARATHON BUT REGISTER NOW!

Valencia Sports Tours can provide the perfect package for you, allowing you to register and visit the city for the race with absolutely nothing to worry about. Hotel, transfers and race registration are all sorted for you and we will work to you requirements and budget to make sure you have the best visit possible.

STANDARD PACKAGE – £219 per person
– 2 nights 3* central Valencia hotel with breakfast
– Return airport transfers
– Registration to IAAF Half Marathon (all documentation and federation completed, we do everything)

Price per person based on 2 sharing a hotel room. Price available in Euros on request.

We have budget and bespoke options. If you want spa and massage the day after the race, extra days to explore the city, apartments, hostels, restaurants booked and much more, nothing is out of the question, just talk to us.

“Excellent service and highly recommended. Barry arranged everything for our weekend in Valencia to take part in the marathon. Nothing was a problem and due to the excellent organisation by the company we didn’t need to worry about anything. A fantastic weekend and we’ll be back next year!”
Jo Barnett – November 2017

CONTACT US TO BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW BY CLICKING HERE!

CHECK OUT OUR RUNNING PAGE FOR OTHER FORTHCOMING EVENTS AND PACKAGES IN THE CITY BY CLICKING HERE

Take Part in the Valencia Marathon – 2 December 2018

MARATON_2013_2 Valencia Sports Tours are offering a fantastic Valencia Marathon package perfect for all running enthusiasts, giving you the chance to take part in the 2018 Valencia Marathon on Sunday 2 December. The package is detailed below, but in short, we allow you to concentrate on your running and enjoy the experience as we take care of all the rest!
The first Valencia Marathon was held in the city in 1981 and has developed over the years to become the most exciting running event on the calendar in Valencia and a massive attraction for international runners to experience with the most recent 2017 event welcoming over 20,000 from 89 countries to take part, making this a truly international event with an atmosphere second to none!
The race takes you around the whole city, starting and finishing from the breathtaking City of Arts and Science, the flat route takes you around the Americas Cup port, Mestalla football stadium, Torres de Serranos, Plaza Ayuntamiento, Plaza de Torros, Palau de Musica and so much more. With a temperature at this time of year around 12-17 degrees and rain rare in Valencia, the climate is perfect for this sort of distance. In addition, there is a 10k race that runs alongside the marathon for anyone coming in groups or with friends who prefer the shorter distance, they can still take part.

The Package

The Package

- 3 nights in centrally located hotel, 30 November to 3 December

- Breakfast included (including special Marathon early breakfast on 2nd

- Marathon entry and federation registration including all costs

- Airport transfers

The Price

The Price

3* Hotel - Runners £319, non runners £199. 4 and 5* options available on request.

Prices available until 25 June 2018, based on 2 people sharing. RUNNING CLUBS AND LARGE GROUPS POSSIBLE. Single room occupancy available. Bespoke packages available including additional nights and services. Contact us for more information or to book your trip via our contacts page.

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Valencia Rugby 7s, 1 – 3 June 2018 with Valencia Sports Tours

Valencia Sports Tours is now partnered with the Valencia Rugby 7s, offering one fantastic weekend of Rugby and fun for Elite, Vets and Social clubs, men and ladies from 1-3 June in Oliva, Valencia.

After a number of years in the city of Valencia, we have made the decision to move the tournament to Oliva Nova Resort, a location right on the beach with four of the finest grass pitches. With accommodation within the resort and only 100m from the beach, outdoor pools and the town of Denia just a few minutes away, this new location will offer a new dimension to the Valencia Rugby 7s.

We have managed to offer this brilliant weekend at a stunning price.

2 NIGHTS – £135
3 NIGHTS – £165

Categories –
Elite – Male/Female
Social – Male/Female
Vets (Rugby 10) – Male
U16-U18 – Male

For this amazing price you will play a minimum of 4 matches, 2/3 nights bed and breakfast in apartments next to the beach, tournament registration and t-shirt, welcome drink, Saturday BarBq and party, physio/medical and ambulance on site, water at games, official team photo, shuttle bus from apartments to pitches and much more.

Flights are available from all over the UK and Ireland to Alicante which is the closest airport to the tournament so there are plenty of options. We can arrange transfers for you or offer as much advice as you need should you wish to make your own way to Oliva.

This is a brilliant opportunity and great way to finish the season. Don’t miss out!

 

SCROLL DOWN BELOW FOR ALL THE INFORMATION AND PACKAGE DETAILS & CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US AND BOOK YOUR PLACE IN 2018’s TOURNAMENT

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Visit Valencia and watch Valencia CF VS Real Madrid this January – Offer

With Valencia flying high in La Liga, this fixture takes on another dimension this January. Valencia VS Real Madrid has always held some tension and magic but with the positions of both teams at present, for several years, this fixture has not had the importance in respect of league positioning than it has this season.

Following Real Madrid’s loss on 2016/17 season here at the Mestalla, they will be desperate to revenge this defeat as well as set themselves up for the remainder of the season in their chase for the title. Valencia on the other hand will hope they are still hot on the tails of Barcelona at the end of January and want to push Real Madrid further away from challenging.

All is set up of an amazing match on the weekend of 27 January and you can be here in Valencia to watch the occasion unfold.

 

FROM AN INCREDIBLE £279, YOU CAN VISIT THE CITY WITH THIS PACKAGE –

2 NIGHTS IN A CENTRAL 3* HOTEL WITH BREAKFAST – Either Friday to Sunday or Saturday to Monday (match 27 January, 16:15)
AIRPORT TRANSFERS
TICKETS TO SEE VALENCIA VS REAL MADRID

PLUS, the following week, Real Madrid return to Valencia to play another La Liga match against Levante at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia, and we will be offering the same package from £245.

We will be happy to advise you on all elements of your stay from places to visit, eat and drink and anything else you would like to experience in Valencia.

CLICK HERE NOW TO CONTACT US AND BOOK YOUR PERFECT FOOTBALL WEEKEND IN VALENCIA

Price based on two people sharing a room. Single person supplement available.
Additional nights or reduced length of stay possible, please contact us to discuss your options.
Airport transfers from Valencia Airport to hotel only. Transfer options from Castellon (1 hour) and Alicante (2 hours) available at additional cost.

PRICES ABOVE SUBJECT TO CHANGE DEPENDING ON TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR EITHER MATCH

 

Black Friday Offer – Levante UD VS Real Madrid Package, SAVE £60 per person!

We have decided to get involved with the Black Friday madness and offer a rediculously cheap package for 2 people to visit Valencia for the match between locals Levante UD and Real Madrid over the first weekend of February (2nd to the 5th).

FOR ONE DAY ONLY, BLACK FRIDAY OFFER – £185 PER PERSON
(Based on two people sharing a room)

Package from Friday 2 to Monday 5 February includes –
3 NIGHTS IN A 3* CENTRAL HOTEL WITH BREAKFAST
AIRPORT TRANSFERS
TICKETS TO LEVANTE UD VS REAL MADRID @ ESTADI CIUTAT DE VALENCIA
Plus all the advice and support you need to make the whole weekend a special one.

In addition, should you be a couple and wish to bring a child with you, just add an additional £100.

To book, just contact us HERE VIA OUR SITE, email info@valenciasportstours.com or call 07870 215 474 NOW!! You will be required to pay a deposit of just £100 with the balance to be paid by 1 January 2018.

THESE PACKAGES ARE FOR A LIMITED NUMBER AND AT A SAVING OF £60 PER PERSON!! ONCE SOLD OUT, PRICE WILL INCREASE TO £245 PER PERSON & £140 FOR ADDITIONAL CHILD. OFFER CLOSES AT 8PM FRIDAY 24 NOVEMBER.

Packages for Valencia VS Real Madrid are available for the weekend of 27 January 2018 also, prices for the 3 night package start at £250 per person based on 2 sharing. Use same contact details as above for booking.

You can tailor your package to add or reduce number of nights, remove breakfast option, book restaurants, clubs, excursions and much more. Just contact us to discuss in more detail.

A Fantastic First Valencia Smash! T20 International Cricket Tournament

Valencia Sports Tours with the support of Levante CC and Cricket España welcomed 4 cricket clubs from the UK to the city of Valencia for the inaugural Valencia Smash! International T20 Tournament.

Played over 4 days of sunshine from 19 – 22 October,  a total of 10 matches took place at the VCG (or as the locals call it, Campo de Beisbol) with sides Cowley Drifters, Freshfields, Herts Vets and West Hagley all making the trip to Valencia.

Day 1 saw West Hagley edge out Freshfields and hosts Levante CC beat Cowley Drifters with the latter of the two matches played under lights, a novelty to the visiting side and maybe just gave hosts Levante a slight advantage.
Day 2 began at 10am with matches all day until 10pm! West Hagley continued their winning streak with a win against Herts Vets under the evening lights, plus a second win for Levante against Freshfields saw both clubs moving ahead of the rest at the end of day 2. Cowley also overcome Freshfields but it was their match against Herts Vets that was the game of the day. Cowley set a record T20 score at the VCG 274, only to be chased down by some rediculous batting by the Vets, setting the new ground record of 279.

Night cricket on day one

Day 3 began with Freshfields posting their first win of the tournament after overcoming Herts Vets who also succumb to a vibrant local team which meant Levante sat top of the table. So it was down to West Hagley and Cowley. Should West Hagley beat the Drifters, they would guaratee their place in the final by finishing in the top two with Levante, however, should Cowley overcome their rivals, they would send West Hagley into the final day needing a result against Levante. It wasn’t to be for Cowley as West Hagley were too strong, however, a great game was blessed with some quality cricket.

Plenty of Food and Beers consumed over the 4 days!

Day 4. With both West Hagley and Levante guaranteed the top two spots, their scheduled morning final group game match was cancelled and all eyes were focussed on the final which began at 1pm in the glorious autumn blue skies and sunshine. With Levante winning the toss and selecting to bat, we knew we were in for a competitive match as the two sides looked very equal over the days passed. And the final proved just that! Some excellent bowling from the West Hagley team kept the Levante score down to 168 for 9 from their 20 overs with the only shining light a quality 66 from opening batsman Azah Abbas. As scores over the previous days had suggested, this was going to be a tough task the home side to defend but defend they did. With some stunning batting from opener Hasam who made his 50 before being dismissed by Tariq, caught behind by Morgan. the quality batting of West Hagley edged ever closer to the total but were losing wickets along the way and as a result, their run rate slowing. Unfortunately for West Hagley, they couldn’t maintain the scoring pace and fell just short by 10 runs, making 158 for 9 off their 20 overs, with captain Rowan Pinkerton of Levante taking 3 crucial wickets.

So Levante CC picked up the winners trophy following a passionate and exciting final, with the match a fitting end to a wonderful 4 days of cricket, fun, laughs, plenty of food and certainly beers! In addition awards were shared out as follows –

Best Bowler – Ghulam Ali – West Hagley
Best Batsman – Alex Gotley – Cowley Drifters
Champagne Moment – Adeel Sajid – West Hagley (Bowled hatrick and 4 wickets in 5 balls in the same over)
The SMASH! Award – Harjit Singh (Broke nose on Saturday and came back to play the final Sunday)

Special thanks go to all the players, teams, umpires, scorers, the ground and bar who were open and available for every hour of every day and anyone else who made this an brilliant few days. Until 2018…….

If you want to be part of the Valencia Smash! 2018, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us now to reserve your place by CLICKING HERE