Saturday 27th April, Logrono
GORKA-CECILIO beat RICO IV-UNTORIA 22-15
Adarraga was in full scale party mode on Saturday evening for the Promocion final, in which all four players were Riojan. Each pair had its faction in the crowd but the biggest single group of supporters came from Ezcaray, the home town of both Gorka Esteban and Cecilio Valgañón, and they did not leave disappointed as the dominant pair of the championship took the spoils. This is a second Promocion crown in a row for Cecilio, who won last year with Jon Jaunarena. Despite the emotion of the occasion, the match itself was not a vintage one. The contest was riddled with errors, especially from Rico, who never found any rhythm. Cecilio, too, was below his best but provided dogged defence and just enough of a platform for the player of the match, Gorka, to do what was necessary. Seven winners in open play plus four on serve represented an excellent return for the forward in such an error strewn match.
Gorka and Cecilio fought their way through the semi-finals by the skin of their teeth, living very dangerously after losing their penultimate match 21-22, and relying on a 22-21 win in their last for their final place, but they came good again when it mattered. They were easily the class act of the round robin stages, winning nine of their eleven games with one of their losses coming while Gorka was injured and replaced by Aritz Lasa. It is justice that it is they who stand atop the podium. While Cecilio has won this title before, it is a first professional txapela for Gorka who has looked more and more solid this year. It could prove a springboard into greater things. For the moment though, Ezcaray’s finest will revel in their local celebrity and the adulation of the wider pelotazale.
There is a short video with highlights and footage of the presentation here.
Scoring sequence: 3-0, 3-7, 6-7, 6-9, 7-9, 7-10, 10-10, 10-14, 13-14, 13-20, 15-20, 15-22
Service winners/errors: Rico 2/0, Gorka 4/0
Winners/errors: Rico 3/7, Untoria 2/2, Gorka 7/3, Cecilio 2/5
Match time: 64:02
Balls hit: 493