Saturday 27th November, Pamplona
BARRIOLA beat TITIN III 22-15
Cuatro y Medio Semi Final
Barriola ended all hopes for Titin by winning the penultimate semi final game on Saturday, and in doing so made himself the favourite to face Irujo in the last two. The versatile defender from Leitza took the game by the scruff of the neck from the outset, and left Titin reeling at 4-15 down. Barriola played at a staggering pace, in a different league to his opponent both in the serve and in the rally, and whipped balls past Titin from all angles. The Riojan was wounded, but is a dangerous beast when afflicted, and he fought back into the game with incredible tenacity. He found a new gear against the odds, and pegged the gap back to 10-15. But Barriola, like an expensive car, purred back into action and moved relentlessly towards 22, racing to 18-10 and 19-13. Titin again came within five points at 15-20 but the gulf was simply too wide to overcome, and Barriola ended his run in the competition with a ruthless flourish, racking up his thirteenth winner to Titin’s seven.
Although Titin must leave, having lost all three of his semi final games, he put on a impressive fighting display here, and can hold his head high. Barriola was classy in the extreme and on this showing could worry Irujo, by whom he was beaten last week. First however, he had to wait for the outcome of the game between Gonzalez and Irujo on Sunday, as a win for the former by a margin of six points or more, would mean curtains for Barriola as well.
Match time: 52.40 (actual playing time: 11.43)
Balls hit: 251
Service winners: Titin: 1, Barriola: 4
Winners: Titin: 6, Barriola: 9
4 ½ line errors: Titin:1, Barriola: 1
Errors: Titin: 7, Barriola: 6
Image from Gara