Urrutikoetxea storms to 2nd Division 4 1/2 crown by frontonnews
December 6, 2009, 3:53 pm
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Saturday 5th December, Beotibar, Tolosa


The young Asegarce forward Mikel Urrutikoetxea last night became the 2nd Division Cuatro y Medio Champion, annihilating in form Jokin Argote 22-10 at Beotibar. The 20 year old has been a professional for all of six months but his confidence and the quality of his play utterly belied his meagre experience. The match was all but over for Argote as he found himself 0-10 down to his youthful opponent after 13 minutes. Urrutikoetxea was devastatingly strong off both arms and worked the angles deftly, making Argote appear one dimensional. He also served excellently, putting Argote on the back foot from the start of the rally. Argote lacked the dynamism and punch to stem the current, and although he persevered gamely, he was never able to come within seven points of his rival. Urrutikoetxea, who has handled himself with maturity and poise throughout this tournament, is now a champion at the first attempt. Next year, he will play in the main competition, against the modern legends of the game. All signs suggest he may, before too many years have passed, reach their exalted status.

Scoring sequence: 0-10, 3-10, 3-13, 4-13, 4-18, 6-18, 6-20, 9-20, 9-21, 10-21 and 10-22.

Source: Diario Vasco

Urrutikoetxea: dominant

 Image from: El Correo Digital

Pelota on the web this weekend by frontonnews
December 4, 2009, 1:16 pm
Filed under: Pelota Mano | Tags: ,

Friday 4th December, Ortuella



Saturday 5th December, Beotibar, Tolosa


19:15 (CET) ARGOTE v URRUTIKOETXEA 2nd Division Cuatro y Medio Final

Sunday 6th December, Astelena, Eibar



To watch, go to http://www.eitb.com/television/etb-sat

Beotibar, setting for the 4 1/2 2nd Division Final

Image from: Asegarce

4 1/2: Gonzalez completes ASPE clean sweep as Pablito falls to injury by frontonnews
November 3, 2009, 9:53 pm
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Monday 2nd November, Beotibar, Tolosa

GONZALEZ beat BERASALUZE VIII 16-10 (match abandoned)

Sebastian Gonzalez yesterday booked his place in the Cuatro y Medio semi finals when Pablo Berasaluze sprained his ankle with the score at 16-10 in his favour. Up until that point, it had been a game full of quality in which Berasaluze had fought back from early problems before Gonzalez increased the pace and with it his scoreline. Berasalzue attempted to continue after his untimely injury, his ankle strapped, but could not and retired to warm applause.

Gonzalez therefore completes the all-ASPE semi final quartet, which is completed by Juan Martinez de Irujo, Titin III and Julen Retegi. The semi final round robin commences this weekend: Gonzalez and Irujo play in Zarautz on Saturday while Titin and Retegi play in Eibar on Sunday.

Source: Asegarce

Pablito: down and out

Image from: El Correo Digital

4 1/2: Patxi Ruiz overcomes fitness doubts in defeat of Ongay by frontonnews
October 21, 2009, 8:28 pm
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Monday 19th October, Beotibar, Tolosa


Patxi Ruiz became the final pelotari to qualify for the second round of the Cuatro y Medio championship on Monday when he easily defeated Alberto Ongay in Tolosa. The defender from Estella has struggled for many months with a back injury and the doubts over his match fitness linger but if afflicted here he did not show it. He did not play in any of the festival tournaments in the summer and the rest looks to have done him the world of good. Ruiz looked the epitome of comfortable while his opponent seemed besieged with nerves from the outset, his feet rooted to the spot as Ruiz manoeuvered the ball at will. Ongay committed half a dozen errors in the course of the match, balanced by only one winner. His decision making was weak and his service wayward, and his body language told the story of the match. The rampant Ruiz fired eight winners in a victory for experience and nerve, and will now face Retegi Bi in Amorebieta on Saturday for a place in the quarter finals, where Olaizola II will await.

Scoring sequence: 4-0, 4-3, 5-3, 5-5, 16-5, 16-6, 17-6, 17-7 and 22-7

Patxi is back and in good health

Patxi is back and in good health

Source: Diario Vasco

Manomaninsta Championship: Agirre crushes Laskurain by frontonnews
April 7, 2009, 10:50 pm
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Monday 6th April
Beotibar, Tolosa

The citizens of Tolosa did not seem to have match enthusiasm for this encounter and the 200 afficionados might have been forgiven for wishing they had spent their evening elsewhere, for this was a parade rather than a match. The scoreboard tells the tale of a game which was all about Imanol Agirre.

Agirre was Aritz Laskurain’s superior in every possible department. The Bizkaian raced to a 5-0 lead as the game began, his only lapse coming in letting his rival level the scores. Laskurain showed some promise in winning five straight points and then working his way to 7-7, but it was to end there for the man from Soraluze as Agirre stormed to the victory with 15 unanswered points. Agirre served solidly and defended excellently, turning every position in which he found himself into one of attack. Laskurain had no answer to the unbreachable wall his opponent built with every shot. Relentless pressure told as he committed a total of seven unforced errors to Agirre’s one. Laskurain missed this championship last year through injury and he barely made more impression here.

Agirre will progress to the second round where he will meet Penagarikano at the same venue on Saturday.

Scoring sequence: 5-0, 5-5, 7-5, 7-7 and 22-7.

Source: Diario Vasco

Aritz Laskurain: out for the count

Aritz Laskurain: out for the count

Mano pairs: Asier and Patxi crash out in Tolosa by frontonnews
February 17, 2009, 1:58 pm
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Monday 16th February

Beotibar, Tolosa


Asier Olaizola and Patxi Ruiz yesterday became the first partnership to exit the Pairs Championship, losing 22-20 to Sebastian Gonzalez and Abel Barriola in an error-strewn encounter at Beotibar. Both pairs committed multiple infelicities but a win was all that the Aspe pair needed to maintain their standing in the table, and it was with grateful hearts that they must have welcomed the continuing poor form of their rivals. Asier and Patxi have won only two matches from seven attempts but even in their victories have failed to set the competition on fire. Both are former txapela winners and more chances may come to them, but this, emphatically, has not been their year.

Abel Barriola had some considerable excuse for his less than exciting play; with the score at 4-3 he requested a break, complaining of pain where the ball had struck the base of his right forefinger. With qualification on the line there was nothing to be done but continue as best he could when his allotted two minutes was up, with modified protections on the offending hand, but it was clearly a hinderance. However, Asier and Patxi were ultimately unable to capitalise on his misfortune. They created their chance to take the match, clawing their way to a 20-16 lead, but errors were their downfall and the Aspe pair managed to find a way back before registering one gantxo apiece to take their point with grateful relief.

So, we bid farewell to Patxi Ruiz and Asier Olaizola, but Barriola and Gonzalez must now concentrate all their energies on next weekend and their critical encounter with Asier’s younger brother Aimar Olaizola and Oier Mendizabal, the defending champions. Barriola’s hand injury must be a major worry; there will be prayers said at Aspe HQ for its speedy recovery. The defender from Leitza will now have until Sunday for healing however, as the match, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been moved to avoid a clash with a Real Sociedad football game, their ground being a stone’s throw from Atano III.

Scoring sequence: 2-0, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3, 4-3, 4-4, 5-4, 5-6, 6-6, 6-8, 8-8, 8-9, 9-9, 9-14, 11-14, 11-15, 13-15, 13-16, 14-16, 14-19, 16-19, 16-20, 19-20 and 19-22.

Abel Barriola (left, with Oier Zearra) will need to keep an eye on that hand

Abel Barriola (left, with Oier Zearra) will need to keep an eye on that hand

Image from: http://www.diariodenavarra.es/actualidad/20080110/fotos/2008011002415748_375.jpg

Mano pairs: Olaizola I and Patxi Ruiz record first win in dismal game at Beotibar by frontonnews
January 27, 2009, 10:54 pm
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Monday 26th January
Beotibar, Tolosa
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

Aritz Laskurain, in happier times

Aritz Laskurain, in happier times