Mulcahy hits heights to inspire Treaty rout
Limerick 1-24 Laois 2-12
ALLIANZ NHL DIV 1B
Limerick bounced back from their first-round defeat with an impressive scoring performance against Laois at O'Moore Park.
Graeme Mulcahy was the star of the show in a potent Limerick attack.
With 23 minutes gone, he had hit six points from play as his side forged ahead by 1-10 to 0-6 and, while he failed to score again, he played a hugely influential role in the second half, coming back into defence to pick up ball after ball and setting up several scoring opportunities.
While John Allen was very happy with his charges, his fellow Corkman Teddy McCarthy was bitterly disappointed with his and held them in the dressing-room for a long period after the game.
While there was only five points between the teams at half-time, Limerick completely dominated the second half and it was only an injury-time Laois goal that put a more respectable look on the scoreboard.
Laois had goalkeeper Eoin Reilly to thank for saving them from an even bigger defeat as he pulled off a string of top-class saves.
Mulcahy tore the Laois defence to shreds in the opening quarter and plundered four points in the opening 10 minutes.
Two minutes later, after Reilly pulled off a superb point-blank save from Mikey Ryan, captain David Breen was on hand to crash the breaking ball to the net.
Laois played some decent hurling in the middle of the half and forced a number of frees that Willie Hyland converted.
Just before half-time, centre-back Joe Fitzpatrick landed a massive point. Then Hyland set up Mick McEvoy and he beat two defenders before rifling to be the net to leave Laois just five points in arrears at the break, 1-14 to 1-9.
The scores were evenly matched in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, with Shane Dowling and Hyland trading a brace of points to maintain that five-point gap.
But Laois were not to score again for 22 minutes, by which time Limerick had tacked on seven scores as the hosts' attack failed to make an impact on a resolute and hugely determined visiting defence.
An injury-time goal from Brian Dunne was little consolation for McCarthy and his men.
Man of the Match: G Mulcahy (Limerick)
Scorers -- Limerick: D Breen 1-4, G Mulcahy, C Allis (6f) 0-6 each, S Dowling 0-5f, N Moran 0-2, P Browne 0-1. Laois: W Hyland 0-8 (6f), B Dunne 1-2, M McEvoy 1-0, N Foyle, J Fitzpatrick 0-1 each.
Limerick -- N Quaid 6; S Walsh 7, R McCarthy 7, T Condon 7; W McNamara 8, D O'Grady 8, G O'Mahoney 8; P Browne 8, J Ryan 7; S Dowling 7, D Breen 8, C Allis 7; G Mulcahy 9, N Moran 8, M Ryan 6. Subs: T O'Brien 5 for Dowling (43), T Ryan 5 for O'Mahoney (62), N Maher for J Ryan (65), M Carmody for M Ryan (68), D Maloney for Condon (68).
Laois -- E Reilly 8; B Stapleton 5, D Maher 5, B Smith 4; C Dunne 5, J Fitzpatrick 7, M Whelan 5; J Walsh 5, B Dunne 8; W Hyland 5, M McEvoy 5, S Maher 5; J Brophy 5, N Foyle 5, T Fitzgerald 5. Subs: P Mullaney 6 for Smith (27), W Dunphy 4 for Brophy (43), D Peacock for S Maher (65), S Bourke for Walsh (65), D O'Mahoney for Fitzgerald (70).
Ref -- T Carroll (Offaly).