Tuesday 18th January, Mungia
XALA – BARRIOLA beat BERASALUZE VIII – APRAIZ 22-12
Xala and Barriola maintained their unbeaten record with an easy victory over Berasaluze VIII and Apraiz last night. The closeness of the first half of the game belied the eventual disparity in the scoreline however, as the Asegarce pair, chiefly through the vigorous shot play of Berasaluze, held onto the coat tails of the favourites. From 9-9, Xala and Barriola let loose, sliding into a gear which their opponents did not possess. Barriola ran affairs from the back, giving Berasaluze nothing on a length from which he could attack. The forward from Berriz capitulated, committing seven errors to accompany his earlier seven winners. Xala used the dominance of his defensive partner as a platform and in turn punished Apraiz all the more. They ruled the match without any need to resort to risk, and remain atop the standings, level on points with Olaizola II and Begino. Irujo, who will return to the fray at the weekend, today described these two frontrunners as the Barcelona and Real Madrid of the tournament, but there is still ample time for the emergence of a challenger from the pack.
Scoring sequence: 1-0, 1-2, 2-2, 2-3, 3-3, 3-5, 6-5, 6-6, 8-6, 8-9, 9-9, 20-9, 20-12, 22-12
Winners/Errors: Berasaluze VIII 8/7, Apraiz 0/2, Xala 11/1, Barriola 3/1
Match time: 71 minutes
Balls hit: 637
Source: Diario de Navarra, Image: El Correo, by Eduardo Argote