THE Limerick senior hurlers eased to a fourth successive victory in Division 1B of the Allianz Hurling League with a 6-29 to 1-12 win over Laois this Saturday evening.
The big Gaelic Grounds win sets TJ Ryan’s side up nicely for next Sunday’s March 20 winner-takes-all promotion contest with Clare in Ennis.
Limerick set the tone from the first whistle and steam-rolled to an interval lead of 3-15 to 0-6 and that was despite hitting nine first half wides.
Barry Nash, a late replacement for the injured Declan Hannon, set the ball rolling with a fifth minute goal to propel Limerick 1-3 clear before Laois opened their account in the seventh minute.
On 18-minutes it was 1-7 to 0-4 and then came the run of scores that all but sealed the win early on.
Limerick were to hit 2-7 without reply to move 3-14 to 0-4 clear on 31-minutes.
Nash also scored the second goal in the 26th minute and one minute later John Fitzgibbon had the third goal for a rampant Limerick.
It was an opening 35-minutes that saw all six starting forwards on the mark.
The second half continued to be all one way traffic.
While free-taker John Fitzgibbon kept the scoreboard ticking over, more goals followed.
Graeme Mulcahy had the fourth goal in the eighth minute of the half for a 4-19 to 0-8 lead.
Goal number five came in the 59th minute from Pat Ryan to put Limerick 5-24 to 0-10 ahead.
Three minutes from time Mikey Ryan made it six goals.
All that on top of 18 wides for Limerick.
SCORERS: Limerick: John Fitzgibbon 1-14 (0-9frees), Barry Nash 2-2, Tom Morrissey and Paul Browne 0-4 each, Graeme Mulcahy1-1, Pat Ryan and Mikey Ryan 1-0 each, Kevin O’Brien 0-2, Gavin O’Mahony and Diarmaid Byrnes (free) 0-1 each. Laois: PJ Scully 1-5 (0-4frees), Charles Dwyer 0-3, Ryan Mullaney, Ciaran Collier and Stephen Maher 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Barry Hennessy; Tom Condon, Richie McCarthy, Seanie O’Brien; Paudie O’Brien, Diarmaid Byrnes, Seamus Hickey; Pat Ryan, Paul Browne; Gavin O’Mahony, Tom Morrissey, John Fitzgibbon; Graeme Mulcahy, Kevin O’Brien, Barry Nash. Subs: Gearoid Hegarty for Seanie O’Brien (h-t), Mikey Ryan for Barry Nash (h-t), Wayne McNamara for Diarmaid Byrnes (44mins), James Ryan for Gavin O’Mahony (50mins), Barry O’Connell for Paul Browne (58mins).
LAOIS: Eoin Reilly; Joe Phelan, Darren Maher, Cahir Healy; Leigh Bergin, Neil Foyle, Ryan Mullaney; Matthew Whelan, Ciaran Collier; PJ Scully, Stepehn Maher, Charles Dwyer; Patrick Purcell, Willie Hyland, Willie Dunphy. Subs: John Walsh for Neil Foyle (h-t), Tom Delaney for Leigh Bergin (h-t), Ross King for Patrick Purcell (h-t), Oisin Carroll for Joe Phelan (47mins), Colm Stapleton for Willie Dunphy (62mins).
REFEREE: James McGrath (Westmeath).