Limerick put an end to Laois's misery
Limerick 6-21 Laois 1-11:DESPITE THE landslide scoreline Limerick manager John Allen took many positives from this All -Ireland qualifier at the Gaelic Grounds on Satursday evening.
Full forward Niall Moran was a three-goal hero for Limerick with the impressive Shane Dowling also helping himself to 1-8.
It was a totally one-sided affair once Limerick had the opening three points from Shane Dowling (free) and Graeme Mulcahy (2) inside seven minutes and after Willie Hyland had the first score for Laois after nine minutes, Limerick went on a rampage.
They cruised into a 0-6 to 0-1 lead after 16 minutes and then came the first of the goals. Seán Tobin and Niall Moran created the chance for David Breen to fire past Laois goalkeeper Eoin Reilly.
Further disaster struck for Laois two minutes later.
This time Moran was in the right place to beat the goalkeeper who had brilliantly saved from Dowling’s initial effort.
By half-time Limerick led 2-10 to 0-3 with Hyland getting two late frees.
The Laois marksman, who accounted for all but one point of his side’s tally, had the opening point of the second half.
Laois made two changes at the interval but it made little difference and after 50 minutes it was 2-16 to 0-8 to the rampant home side.
Limerick then struck for two goals inside 90 seconds, both of them being scored by Moran.
Dowling and substitute Tommy Quaid had further Limerick goals as Laos continued to rely on Hyland who finished with 1-10 with their only other point being scored by midfielder Stephen Maher.
Limerick’s defence was totally in control with Tom Condon, Richie McCarthy and Wayne McNamara rock solid. Up front Dowling and Moran were a constant threat with Graeme Mulcahy doing well in the first half.
Laois manager Teddy McCarthy must be wondering what the next step is as the season ended on a sad note for his outclassed side.
But for the accuracy from frees by Willie Hyland the scoreline would have been worse but Stephen Maher at midfield also did well as did Canice Coonan at corner back.
Limerick manager John Allen still managed to take some positives from the game which was watched by 3,086 paying supporters.
“Firstly we went out to win and we did that. We got off to a good start, kept our concentration and then we finished well,” he said.
And another positive for him was the performance of the substitutes. “You do not win a championship game with 15 players anymore and our five changes all made a difference.
“It means that we have strong competition for many positions and this is a very healthy situation,” added Allen.
While he was satisfied with the performance, Allen said that Antrim will pose a much bigger challenge next Saturday . . . a game which Limerick have agreed to play in the afternoon at the request of Antrim.
LIMERICK: N Quaid; S Walsh, R McCarthy, T Condon; W McNamara, D O’Grady, G O’Mahony; J Ryan (0-1), P Browne (0-1); S Dowling (1-8, five frees, one 65), B Geary, D Breen (1-1); G Mulcahy (0-3), N Moran (3-1), S Tobin. Subs: P O’Brien (0-1) for Browne (24 mins), D Hannon (0-3) for Tobin (44 mins), S O’Neill for Condon (55 mins), T O’Brien (0-1) for Geary (57 mins), T Quaid (1-1) for Mulcahy (65 mins).
LAOIS: E Reilly; C Coonan, D Maher, G Burke; N Unwin, M Whelan, M McEvoy; B Dunne, S Hanlon; S Maher (0-1), T Fitzgerald, W Hyland (1-10, seven frees, one 65); C Murray, N Foyle, W Dunphy. Subs: B Reddin for Fitzgerald, A Collier for Hanlon (both half-time), D Peacock for Dunphy (54 mins), S Lowry for Reddin.
Referee: M Wadding (Waterford).