LIMERICK hurling manager John Allen has paid tribute to his young forwards after they delivered in style against Dublin in Croke Park last Saturday.
Limerick recorded a 1-21 to 1-15 win over Dublin but face another huge game in their promotion battle this weekend when they travel to Tullamore to take on Offaly.
Declan Hannon, Kevin Downes and Graeme Mulcahy scored a massive 1-16 between them in Croke Park and Allen is hoping they can build on that form.
Downes, who burst on to the senior inter-county scene in 2011 under Donal O’Grady before struggling for form in 2012, was one of Limerick’s best players in Croke Park although Hannon got man of the match and Mulcahy got the crucial goal in the second half.
“Kevin Downes has threatened and has been very impressive in training (but) hadn’t brought it on the field just yet,” said Allen after the Na Piarsaigh man hit four points from play in an impressive showing. “But that type of performance is in him and it’s great for his confidence.
“Graeme, as we saw last year is a lethal finisher and he got some great points from acute angles. And Declan Hannon has as much hurling in him as anyone in the country. It’s great to see those fellas doing so well.”
A win for Limerick over Offaly, a side they drew with in last year’s campaign, would almost certainly assure them of a place in the Division 1B final - and a shot at promotion to Division 1A.
Limerick struggled for long periods of the first half against Dublin but they came good in the second half to run out six-point winners.
“Overall I was pleased,” said Allen after the Dublin game.
“Training has been going very well. We didn’t play well the last two days (against Carlow and Antrim) - but we did tonight. We worked hard, were under the kosh but didn’t throw in the towel, we kept working hard. Obviously I was pleased we won but I was pleased with the performance as well.
“We didn’t win primary ball in the first half and we didn’t win brekaing ball. We were chasing the game all the time but Dublin didn’t score enough in that 25 minutes dominance.
“I supppose as we all know at this level - if you have your period of dominace and you don’t score, you probably won’t win the game.”