Ezkurdia and Zubieta yesterday registered their second win in a row, defeating Xala and Barriola comprehensively in a carnival atmosphere at Beotibar. The main protagonist was Ezkurdia, who played with impressive power and confidence. Perhaps some allowances can be made for Xala, returning to the fronton after a hamstring injury, but there was little he could do to stop the rampant young forward who has turned the fortunes of this pair on their heads after coming in to replace Gonzalez two weeks ago. The verve he has brought to the front appears to have pushed Zubieta to new heights. The defender has not played badly all championship, even with Gonzalez in tow, but in the past two weeks he has ridden the crest of a wave. Barriola was unsettled by him and ultimately outplayed. Ezkurdia and Zubieta were in control for the majority of the encounter, save for a period early in the game when their opponents came from 1-5 down to 6-5 up. From there on however, they put their stamp on the game, advancing to 6-13, and from that point, their lead never fell below four. Whatever happens in the match today, at the same venue, between Berasaluze-Albisu and Arretxe-Begino, Ezkurdia and Zubieta will have made giant strides up the table. A win for Arretxe and Begino could see them fifth and on the fringes of qualification, with all the chances in the world. This would have been unthinkable a mere two weeks ago.
Scoring sequence: 1-0, 1-5, 6-5, 6-13, 7-13, 7-15, 11-15, 11-18, 12-18, 12-20, 14-20, 14-22
Service winners/errors: Xala 1/0, Ezkurdia 3/0
Winners/errors: Xala 7/5, Ezkurdia 9/3, Barriola 0/5, Zubieta 0/3
Match time: 67 minutes
Balls hit: 559