Sunday 25th January
Martinez de Irujo/Goni III beat Bengoetxea VI/Beloki 22-18
It was the Aspe partnership of Juan Martinez de Irujo and Fernando Goni who took home the spoils on Sunday, defeating Oinatz Bengoetxea and Ruben Beloki in Eibar. Irujo found the ability to direct the game and manipulate his opponents as he chose and selected his shots well. Particularly impressive was his tactic of punishing Beloki with the long ball. Goni, who gets better as the tournament progresses, played an excellent supporting role, easily bettering Beloki, who never found his stride. Bengoetxea committed too many errors to exert enough pressure on Irujo and later confessed to nerves in the early part of the match. He did engineer a late comeback, playing with determination to reduce the deficit from 11-18 to 18-21 but Irujo’s timely brilliance eventually won the day.
In terms of the overall standings, Irujo and Goni have done their chances of qualification no harm at all but the top of the table is congested and no pair can afford to relax for so much as a second. They are now tied in terms of points with Berasaluze VIII and Begino as both pairs have won two matches and lost two. Three pairs are tied, one point ahead. It is all to play for. Bengoetxea and Beloki on the other hand languish in seventh place; there is now little hope for them.
Scoring sequence (Bengoetxea VI/Beloki first)
1-0, 1-5, 3-5, 3-6, 5-6, 5-8, 6-8, 6-9, 7-9, 7-12, 8-12, 8-13, 10-13, 10-16, 11-16, 11-18, 12-18, 12-21, 18-21 and 18-22.
Source: Diario Vasco