‘Job done’ for Allen’s Limerick hurlers

LIMERICK bounced back from the opening round defeat to Clare with a comfortable win over Laois, but manager John Allen is not getting carried away.

LIMERICK bounced back from the opening round defeat to Clare with a comfortable win over Laois, but manager John Allen is not getting carried away.

While Allen is experienced enough not to get carried with the win over Laois, he was aware of the importance of boosting confidence.

“Job done,” he said.

He added: “I wouldn’t read too much into it but at least it is a win and its takes some of the pressure off. At least we are off the bottom of the table!”.

“That wasn’t world shattering or anything but at the same time it was a win - I woudn’t over analyse the game but we did what we needed to do to win and its two points and we go to Wexford next Sunday,” said Allen.

“Does today answer any questions - well its a win and a win was very important for any squad of players. If we lost today it would be very hard to drive fellas on again in training on Tuesday. A win was extremely important.”

Just as they did against Clare, Limerick started very well against Laois.

“It looked after 10 minutes or a quarter hour that we were going to breeze through the game but we didn’t and Laois came back and got a goal before half time that put a different gloss on the scoreboard,” recalled the manager.

“Early in the second half we got two points which took the pressure off us again but then Shane Dowling going off was a loss but the most pleasing aspect was when he did go off we did find an extra gear and fellas did raise it up. I was particularly pleased to see Conor Allis take over the frees and having a 100% rate.”

The win goes some way towards overcoming the 14-point loss to Clare.

“Everybody knew the last night that we weren’t as bad as we looked and maybe Clare aren’t as good as they looked but as the same time we were well beaten and the players knew that, as well as I did. Everything that Clare hit went over the bar and that doesn’t happen every week you go out and we just capitulated 20-minutes into the first game after James Ryan went off injured and they took over that area and everything went right for them. There was a vast improvement in training over the last two weeks in terms of intensity and fellas talking up and geeing each other up. If you were to mark the last two weeks out, you would certainly say that we are going in the right direction,” explained Allen.

With Clare appearing in pole position to top the group, Limerick must now target a Division 1B final spot in their bid to gain promotion.

“It could go any way yet,” said Allen of the league.

“The league is quite competitive - last year Wexford and Offaly were in Division One. The fact that there are only five teams in it means that all games are very competitive,” said Allen.

Limerick travel to Wexford this Sunday and then entertain Offaly and end with a trip to Casement Park to play Antrim.