Tuesday 22 January 2019

Class act Gillane helps make it easy for Treaty

Limerick 1-25 Laois 0-18

Gillane was a constant threat. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Gillane was a constant threat. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

John Keogh

Limerick got off to a winning start in Division 1B with victory over Laois at the Gaelic Grounds.

John Kiely's side were rarely troubled during the 70 minutes and began their campaign with an extremely comfortable victory.

Aaron Gillane top-scored for Limerick with an impressive 0-11 haul, five of which came from play. Ross King tallied the same amount for Laois, but nine of his 11 came from placed balls.

Limerick manager Kiely admitted that his charges face a much stiffer test on Sunday when they take on Offaly in Tullamore.

"The agenda has been reset after last night (Saturday)," said Kiely in reference to Offaly's surprise win over Dublin.

Manner "Most people would have said that Dublin would probably have beaten Offaly, but I think the manner of their performance and victory sets up next weekend to be a very, very significant game in this group."

The game was level at 0-2 apiece with six minutes on the clock, but efforts from Cian Lynch, Diarmaid Byrnes and Gillane put Limerick 0-5 to 0-3 ahead. Patrick Purcell replied for Laois.

Gillane was a constant threat; however, it was fellow forward Gearóid Hegarty who had the game's first goal chance in the 12th minute, but he was excellently denied by Enda Rowland.

Hegarty was more clinical 10 minutes later when he took Gillane's pass and sidestepped his marker to fire low past Rowland and put Limerick 1-7 to 0-5 ahead.

Limerick were on top all over the pitch at this stage, but it was the midfield partnership of Cian Lynch and Paul Browne that really caught the eye.

A couple of points from Lynch and Gillane's ability to keep things ticking over put Limerick into an eight-point advantage at the interval.

Laois improved in the second-half, but Limerick never had to up the tempo to any great degree. Gillane continued to score at will and David Reidy fired three points in an impressive cameo that saw the Treaty County home comfortably.

Despite the manner of victory, Kiely conceded that the bar will have to be raised greatly if his side are to come away with victory in Tullamore next weekend.

"We need to go up several gears up from today, absolutely," he said. "We know that. The players know that.

"We have got to go and find those gears this week so we are going to train hard for the first couple of days this week and get ourselves set up for the weekend."

Scorers - Limerick: A Gillane 0-11 (5fs, 1 '65); G Hegarty 1-0; P Browne, T Morrissey, D Reidy 0-3 each; C Lynch, D Byrnes 0-2 each; B O'Connell 0-1. Laois: R King 0-11 (7fs, 2 '65s); E Rowland (2f) P Purcell 0-2 each; B Conroy, W Dunphy and A Corby 0-1 each.

Limerick - N Quaid 6; S Finn 7, S Hickey 7, R English 7; D Byrnes 8, D Morrissey 6, P O'Loughlin 8; P Browne 8, C Lynch 9; T Morrissey 7, D O'Donovan 6, B O'Connell 6; A Gillane 9, S Flanagan 6, G Hegarty 6. Subs: C Ryan 6 for O'Connell (47), B Murphy 6 for Hegarty (47), D Reidy 8 for Flanagan (54).

Laois - E Rowland 8; L Cleere 5, L Bergin 7, P Lawlor 6; J Kelly 5, M Whelan 6, E Killeen 6; P Purcell 8, J Ryan 6; B Conroy 7, S Downey 6, C Taylor 6; R King 9, N Foyle 6, P McKane 5.

Subs: D Hartnett 6 for Cleere (21 inj), W Dunphy 6 for McKane (32), C Stapleton 6 for Kelly (h-t), A Corby 7 for Downey (51), S Bergin 6 for Taylor (58).

Ref - C Canning (Antrim)

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