Both Masters semi-finals took place this weekend and we now know the identity of the two pelotaris who will battle for the prestigious prize on Christmas day at Labrit. OINATZ BENGOETXEA progressed thanks AITOR ZUBIETA’s serious knee injury, which occurred during their match in Pamplona on Saturday. The Asegarce forward was 9-4 to the good when the accident happened, and had dominated the early stages, despite some expert defensive efforts from Zubieta, who was in the process of working his way into the game when his effort was cut short.
Scoring sequence: 6-0, 6-2, 9-2, 9-4. Service winners: Bengoetxea 0, Zubieta 2. Service faults: Bengoetxea 0, Zubieta 1. Winners: Bengoetxea 4, Zubieta 2. Errors: Bengoetxea 0, Zubieta 4. Match time: 22:12, with 6:21 of actual play.
Newly crowned Cuatro y Medio champion JUAN MARTINEZ DE IRUJO beat PATXI RUIZ 22-15 in Eibar on Sunday. Ruiz made by far the better start, going ahead 5-0 before his rival had had a chance to breathe. However, Irujo was unfazed, and staged the sort of comeback to which we have become used, taking the next five points to draw level. From this juncture, he never allowed himself to be headed, outdoing Ruiz for speed and invention. It was an uninspiring encounter, but Irujo met his objective with ease, and advances to another final.
Scoring sequence: 0-5, 7-5, 7-6, 13-6, 13-10, 20-10, 20-15, 22-15. Service winners: Irujo 7, Patxi Ruiz 3. Service faults: Irujo 0, Patxi Ruiz 0. Winners: Irujo 10, Patxi Ruiz 7. Errors: Irujo 5, Patxi Ruiz 4. Match time: 35:18, with 7:00 of actual play.
Image from Noticias de Navarra