Olaizola I/Patxi Ruiz beat Xala/Laskurain 22-21
Asier Olaizola and Patxi Ruiz can afford themselves a sigh of relief at finally opening their account in this year’s championship but there will be little satisfaction in it, for this was one of the worst matches the competition has seen in some time. The crowd at Beotibar witnessed a catalogue of errors, numbering 23 across the four competitors, from start to finish. The worst of the play came from the two defenders, Patxi and Laskurain. Laskurain did however have something of an excuse, having injured his right hand with the score at 13-13, leaving Xala working overtime in a futile attempt to compensate. This was the chance that Asier and Patxi craved; surely all they had to do was to wait for the afflicted and increasingly despondent Laskurain to make errors? But they could not capitalise, failing to exert any meaningful pressure on their labouring opponents. A string of errors from Patxi Ruiz took the score to 18-13 in Aspe’s favour but Laskurain then took his turn to miscue, allowing the gap to close to 21-20 before he gave the victory away. Even his uninjured hand could not save him from a very public purgatory. The Asegarce pair took the winners’ point simply because someone had to be the first to reach 22.
Aritz Laskurain will be out of action for at least a week and possibly two. His place will be taken in the next round of matches by Aitor Zubieta.
Scoring sequence (Olaizola I/Patxi Ruiz first):
0-6, 6-6, 6-7, 7-7, 7-10, 9-10, 9-11, 11-11, 11-12, 12-12, 12-13, 13-13, 13-18, 16-18, 16-20, 20-20, 20-21 and 22-21