British side, Alstarz, came away victorious at the weekend as the Fuengirola Lions played host to the eighth edition of the International Inline Hockey Tournament.
The event was attended by teams from Spain, Finland, Belgium and the UK, alongside multi-national teams and with some members even making a trip across the pond from the USA.
The Santa Fe sports centre, where the tournament was held, has undergone renovations this summer with new boards installed in the rink, it it made for a safer and more fluid game for both the players and the spectators.
The tournament kicked off at 9am on Saturday morning with the local team, Barona Fuengirola, against last year’s champions Pahalampi (from Finland). All of the games were a close match-up; only Pahalampi from Finland were able to win all of their group stage games and they emerged as winners from group A.
Meanwhile, Roller Murcia won group B, their young team standing out, emerging as early contenders for the trophy.
Saturday’s intensity was carried over into Sunday with the semifinalists, the top two sides from each group (Pahalampi, Águilas, Alstarz and Murcia) facing off. Pahalampi and Alstarz won their respective games and progressed to the final.
A physical finale
It was an intense, physical encounter and one player from Pahalampi, Rikard Jacobsson, suffered an unfortunate injury.
The final was played at a high tempo, but in the end British team Alstarz, from Basildon in Essex, emerged as victors, making them the first team from the UK to win the highly-regarded trophy.