Aaron Gillane shines on league debut for Limerick
John Kiely’s side see off Laois by 10 points at the Gaelic Grounds
Aaron Gillane scored 11 points for Limerick in the win over Laois. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Limerick 1-25 Laois 0-18
Limerick began their eight attempt in a row to get out of Division 1B with a 10-point win over Laois in a disappointing contest at the Gaelic Grounds in front of a crowd of 1,460.
Manager John Kiely will be happy with the win and the high points tally, but he will know that plenty of improvement will be necessary if further wins are to follow.
Under-21 star Aaron Gillane made his league debut and scored 11 points as did visiting captain Ross King, each scoring six frees and two 65s. Gillane edged the battle by creating the only goal which was scored by Ger Hegarty after 17 minutes.
Laois had the opening point from Ben Conroy but a pair of frees by Gillane had Limerick in front after three minutes and they never relinquished the advantage. Laois goalkeeper Enda Rowland had the first of his two pointed frees to level matters after six minutes.
That was as good as it got for Laois as Limerick built up an interval lead of 1-12 to 0-7 and could even afford to squander two goal-scoring opportunities.
King had three pointed frees in a row early in the second half but it served only to spark Limerick to life as they pulled away.
Seán Finn was drafted in to the Limerick side when ’flu victim Tom Condon was ruled out and he did well at corner back in a defence that at times seemed to be struggling. Newcomer Paddy O’Loughlin at wing back also did well while Cian Lynch gave a superb display at midfield as partner to Paul Browne, who scored three points from play.
Laois could thank Rowland for not losing by an even bigger margin and they suffered a blow after 20 minutes when corner back Lee Cleere had to retire injured. Patrick Purcell did well in midfield and King was always a threat up front but Limerick had too much firepower up front and they won at their ease to remain unbeaten after four games this year.
LIMERICK: N Quaid; S Finn, S Hickey, R English; D Byrnes (0-2), D Morrissey, P O’Loughlin; P Browne (0-3), C Lynch (0-2); T Morrissey (0-3), D O’Donovan, B O’Connell (0-1); A Gillane 0-11 (six frees, two 65s), S Flanagan, G Hegarty (1-0).
Subs: C Ryan for O’Connell (46 mins), B Murphy for Hagarty (47), D Reidy (0-3) for Flanagan (53).
LAOIS: E Rowland 0-2 (both frees); L Cleere, L Bergin, P Lawlor; J Kelly, M Whelan, E Killeen; P Purcell (0-2), J Ryan; B Conroy (0-1), S Downey, C Taylor; R King 0-11 (six frees, two 65s), N Foyle, P McKane.
Subs: D Hartnett for Cleere (inj, 20 mins), W Dunphy (0-1) for McKane (31), C Stapleton for Kelly (h/t), A Corny (0-1) for Downey (51), S Bergin for Taylor (56).
Referee: C Canning (Antrim).