LIMERICK had to come from behind to beat Laois 1-17 to 1-13 in the Allianz Hurling League in Portlaoise on Sunday.
A second half goal from sub Shane Dowling was the crucial score but Limerick still missed out on promotion as Cork beat Wexford to claim top spot in Division 1B.
Limerick still go on to a league quarter-final where they will play Galway away next weekend.
Limerick were 1-9 to 0-5 down at half-time after a very poor showing. Laois’s goal came from a Tommy Fitzgerald kicked effort but Limerick struggled to match the intensity shown by the home side.
Captain Donal O’Grady was introduced at half time and Limerick slowly got a grip on the game. Shane Dowling was brought on for Conor Allis who was struggling on the frees and Dowling landed a couple of frees and corner-back Tom Condon also hit two inspirational scores and Dowling got the match-changing goal on 60 minutes after Michael Ryan had initially been denied.
David Reidy and James Ryan were also impressive for Limerick in the second half who now look forward to their quarter-final next week.
SCORERS - Limerick: Laois: Tommy Fitzgerald 1-1, Willie Hyland 0-3, John Purcell 0-3, Stephen Maher 0-2 (both frees), Matthew Whelan 0-2 (both frees), Dwayne Palmer 0-1, Paddy Purcell 0-1; Limerick: Shane Dowling 1-3 (three frees), David Reidy 0-3, Conor Allis 0-3 (two frees), Wayne McNamara 0-1, James Ryan 0-2, Paul Browne 0-2, Tom Condon 0-2, Graeme Mulcahy 0-1,
LIMERICK - Nickie Quaid; Stephen Walsh, Philip O’Loughlin, Tom Condon; Paudie O’Brien, Wayne McNamara, Dan Morrissey; Cathal King, Paul Browne; Conor Allis, James Ryan, David Reidy; Graeme Mulcahy, Kevin Downes, Michael Ryan. Subs: Donal O’Grady for Walsh (half time), Shane Dowling for Allis (45 mins), Sean Tobin for Ryan (65 mins), Declan Hannon for Mulcahy (68 mins)
LAOIS - Eoin Reilly; Brian Stapleton, Brian Campion, Darren Maher; Joe Fitzpatrick, Matthew Whelan, Tom Delaney; Paddy Purcell, Dwayne Palmer; John Purcell, Willie Hyland, Stephen Maher; Neil Foyle, Ross King, Tommy Fitzgerald.