Daily Archives: 17 February, 2009

Mano pairs: standings after week seven

With one week to go of the quarter final rounds, matters are hitting fever pitch. Asier Olaizola and Patxi Ruiz are out of the running but the other seven pairs are in the scrap for the four semi final places. One glance at the table will demonstate how desperately close things are. Next weekend will not be for the faint hearted; who can rise to the occasion?

1. M. de Irujo-Goñi III 7 4 3 134 113 4
2. Gonzalez-Barriola 7 4 3 136 123 4
3. Olaizola II-Mendiza. II 7 4 3 123 120 4
4. Berasaluze VIII-Begino 7 4 3 130 134 4
5. Bengoetxea VI-Beloki 7 4 3 130 136 4
6. Xala-Laskurain 7 3 4 137 125 3
7. Titín-Pascual 7 3 4 134 133 3
8. Olaizola I-Patxi Ruiz 7 2 5 111 151 2

Numbers refer to: games played, wins, losses, points for, points against, league points

Martinez de Irujo and Goni III on top, but will they stay there?

Martinez de Irujo and Goni III on top, but will they stay there?

Image from: http://www.deia.com/cache/fotos/7ddfeaf5646f18f25deeb9402e051782.jpg

Mano pairs: Asier and Patxi crash out in Tolosa

Monday 16th February

Beotibar, Tolosa


Asier Olaizola and Patxi Ruiz yesterday became the first partnership to exit the Pairs Championship, losing 22-20 to Sebastian Gonzalez and Abel Barriola in an error-strewn encounter at Beotibar. Both pairs committed multiple infelicities but a win was all that the Aspe pair needed to maintain their standing in the table, and it was with grateful hearts that they must have welcomed the continuing poor form of their rivals. Asier and Patxi have won only two matches from seven attempts but even in their victories have failed to set the competition on fire. Both are former txapela winners and more chances may come to them, but this, emphatically, has not been their year.

Abel Barriola had some considerable excuse for his less than exciting play; with the score at 4-3 he requested a break, complaining of pain where the ball had struck the base of his right forefinger. With qualification on the line there was nothing to be done but continue as best he could when his allotted two minutes was up, with modified protections on the offending hand, but it was clearly a hinderance. However, Asier and Patxi were ultimately unable to capitalise on his misfortune. They created their chance to take the match, clawing their way to a 20-16 lead, but errors were their downfall and the Aspe pair managed to find a way back before registering one gantxo apiece to take their point with grateful relief.

So, we bid farewell to Patxi Ruiz and Asier Olaizola, but Barriola and Gonzalez must now concentrate all their energies on next weekend and their critical encounter with Asier’s younger brother Aimar Olaizola and Oier Mendizabal, the defending champions. Barriola’s hand injury must be a major worry; there will be prayers said at Aspe HQ for its speedy recovery. The defender from Leitza will now have until Sunday for healing however, as the match, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been moved to avoid a clash with a Real Sociedad football game, their ground being a stone’s throw from Atano III.

Scoring sequence: 2-0, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3, 4-3, 4-4, 5-4, 5-6, 6-6, 6-8, 8-8, 8-9, 9-9, 9-14, 11-14, 11-15, 13-15, 13-16, 14-16, 14-19, 16-19, 16-20, 19-20 and 19-22.

Abel Barriola (left, with Oier Zearra) will need to keep an eye on that hand

Abel Barriola (left, with Oier Zearra) will need to keep an eye on that hand

Image from: http://www.diariodenavarra.es/actualidad/20080110/fotos/2008011002415748_375.jpg