Treaty pick up points on home comforts   29/01/2018

Limerick 1-25 

Laois 0-18

Limerick had 10 points to spare over Laois in a low-key Allianz Hurling League Division 1B opener played before a crowd of just 1,450 at the Gaelic Grounds.

Free-taker Aaron Gillane continued his recent impressive form with a haul of 0-11, while Gearoid Hegarty scored the only goal in the first half for the hosts, who were always comfortable despite playing well below their best. Laois fared better than they have done in recent clashes with the Treaty County, but failed to make the most of wind advantage in the second half after trailing by 0-7 to 1-12 at the break.

The underdogs opened the scoring through Cian Taylor, but two Aaron Gillane points had John Kiely's men ahead before goalkeeper Enda Rowland brought Laois level from a '65. Points from Cian Lynch and Diarmuid Byrnes restored Limerick's advantage before Paddy Purcell replied. Gillane and Lynch extended the home side's lead before a pair of Ross King frees left the minimum in it again.

But Limerick then stepped on the gas as Gillane popped over another free before Hegarty netted in the 22nd minute to hand the winners a 1-7 to 0-5 lead.

The respective captains King and Paul Browne traded further scores before the Treaty reeled off four unanswered points to lead by eight at the interval.

The wind-assisted O'Moore County resumed with another King free, but Limerick then took control with points from Browne, Barry O'Connell and Tom Morrissey. With sub David Reidy helping himself to two points, they had opened up a 1-20 to 0-12 lead before a flurry of late King frees made the scoreline more respectable for the visitors.

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, 6f, 2'65), S Flanagan, G Hegarty (1-0). Subs: C Ryan for B O'Connell, B Murphy for G Hegarty, D Reidy (0-3) for S Flanagan.

Laois - E Rowland (0-2f); 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, 6f, 2'65), N Foyle, P McKane. Subs: D Hartnett for L Cleere, W Dunphy (0-1) for P McKane, C Stapleton for J Kelly, A Corby (0-1) for S Downey, S Bergin for C Taylor.

Referee - C Canning.

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