Limerick 3-23 Laois 2-11
Limerick played their first competitive fixture of the new 2008 Allianz National Hurling League Division 1B season today and scored an emphatic victory over a brave Laois side .The game was played at the Gaelic Grounds today in almost near perfect conditions without the customary downpours ,an attendance of approx 5000 turned out which showed the hard core support for Limerick Hurling on a day when Sky Tv’s Super Sunday(Man Utd 1958) would keep the armchair supporters at home the 6 Nations Rugby also ,with all due respect to Laois they have not exactly set the Hurling World on fire as an attraction either but it turned out to be a very good game of hurling on the day. Laois were in the lead for much of the first half and gave Limerick some early problems. Limerick applied pressure with 10 mins of the half left and Pat Tobin scored a goal that changed the course of the game from there on. At half time Limerick led by 1-12 to Laois 1-7.At half time interval the pitch was absolutely full with at least 100 or more young enthusiastic hurling supporters savouring their moments of glory in a puck around nice to see and important for hurling to survive as encouragement at underage level is essential.
Andrew O ‘Shaughnessy ,Scorer of 2-6 .
Limerick began the second half in the same manner and early goals for Limerick left the result in no doubt as the Shannonsiders began to click into an extra gear; Andrew O Shaughnessy was a constant threat to Laois and ended up scoring a great individual goal. In defence Croom’s Stephen Lucey was always in command and marshaled his defence well around him and was constantly shouting encouragement .Overall a good hurling performance from Limerick which also allowed Richie Bennis the time to introduce several of his players from the bench for the remaining 15 minutes of the game as Limerick were coasting to victory .Limerick ran out winners 3-23 to Laois 2-11.Next up for Limerick is an away trip to Tipperary two teams who will know a lot about each other from their three epic Munster Championship matches from 2007.A nice scene and a sight to behold at the end of the match was seeing Goalkeeper Brian Murray and 1 or 2 other players surrounded on the pitch 10 mins after the match was over by autograph seeking youngsters,which will no doubt be a source of conversation in their local primary schools tomorrow.
Alan O Connor
Tipperary 2-25 Offaly 2-8
David Clancy Granagh/Ballingarry
NHL Division 1B Fixtures 2008
17/2/08 Tipperary v Limerick
09/3/08 Limerick v Clare
16/3/08 Offaly v Limerick
23/3/08 Limerick v Galway