Monday 20 November 2017

Allen always confident as Limerick overturn interval deficit

Limerick 0-21 Offaly 3-8 NHL Division 1B

A massive second-half turnaround saw Limerick maintain their 100pc record as they crushed an Offaly side that couldn't build on their impressive first-half showing.

Aided by a strong breeze, Offaly had the better of the opening period but fell victim to a super second-half performance from the Treaty men who outscored the home side 0-13 to 1-1 after the interval.

Graeme Mulcahy and Conor Allis were the shining lights in the attack on a day in which they could also afford 12 wides while still having four points to spare.

Limerick added the desired tempo to finish the game strong and reach the division final with a game to spare.

Offaly got off to a lightning start while aided by a strong breeze and Shane Dooley had an impressive 2-3 to his name after just 11 minutes of play as the home side led by 2-3 to 0-1.

The Tullamore ace struck a penalty and a goal from play to set Offaly on the perfect start to the clash.

Limerick slowly edged their way back into the contest, however, with Seamus Hickey pulling the strings at centre-forward to bring them back to 2-7 to 0-8 in arrears at the break. Although behind at the halfway point, Limerick manager John Allen wasn't panicking.

"That wind was always going to play a big part in the game. Offaly got two goals in the first half and made it difficult for us," said Allen.

"We felt we played well in the first half and five points wasn't a massive lead for them at half-time".

Kevin Downes came more into the game in the second half and with Mulcahy in the other corner leading the way on the scoreboard, the Limerick men moved into the lead on 50 minutes through Mulcahy (2-7 to 0-14).

Colin Egan grabbed a goal for Offaly to end almost 30 minutes without a score before being sent off.

But the scoring combination of Mulcahy and Allis made up for Limerick's wide count and steered Allen's charges to a fully deserved victory.

Man of the match: G Mulcahy (Limerick)

SCORERS – Limerick: C Allis (2fs), D Hannon (3fs), G Mulcahy 0-4 each, K Downes 0-3, S Hickey, P Browne 0-2 each, W McNamara, G O'Mahoney 0-1 each. Offaly: S Dooley 2-6 (4f, 1-0 pen), C Egan 1-0, B Carroll, C Parlon 0-1 each.

LIMERICK – N Quaid 7; A Dempsey 8, R McCarthy 7, S O'Neill 5; P O'Brien 7, W McNamara 8, G Mahoney 7; P Browne 7, J Ryan 7; D Breen 6, S Hickey 8, C Allis 8; K Downes 8, D Hannon 7, G Mulcahy 8. Subs: M Carmody 8 for O'Neill (31), T Quaid 6 for Breen (66).

OFFALY – J Dempsey 8; C McDonald 6, D Kenny 7, P Cleary 7; D Morkan 7, R Hanniffy 6, K Brady 7; C Slevin 6, B Carroll 7; C Egan 6, C Mahon 6, S Ryan 6; S Dooley 8, C Parlon 6, T Carroll 7. Subs: J Mulrooney 7 for Parlon (49), G Healion 6 for Ryan (60), D Mooney 6 for Slevin (66), T Bolger 6 for Carroll (66).

REF – A Kelly (Galway)

Irish Independent

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