NHL Div1B – Laois v Limerick preview

Limerick and Laois clash on Sunday with both sides looking to bounce from heavy opening round losses.

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John Allen’s Limerick side had high hopes for the new season after the success of 2011 however a 2-24 to 1-13 loss to Clare in the opening round has led to a re-evaluation of the Treaty County’s aims for 2012.

Despite the season being in its infancy, Allen has described Sunday’s clash as “must-win” game. Speaking to the Irish Examiner, the Cork native said “Sunday is a must-win for us after the Clare match and being short attackers doesn’t help our cause,”

“There was huge disappointment at how we capitulated against Clare and an acceptance that (that) standard won’t do. It would be recognised that Clare are at an advanced stage of fitness in comparison to us but we still shouldn’t have been that far behind them.

“We had previously played two Waterford Crystal Cup games against them and there had been very little between the two teams. If we want to make progress in the league, we have to rectify that and get a win against Laois. With the new league structure, there aren’t many games and we can’t afford another defeat. The players know that and I’d be happy with how training has gone since.

“But we need all the players we can get and right now it looks like we’ll be down some. Declan Hannon’s injury really is not improving progressing the way we hoped and James Ryan hasn’t really trained since the Clare game when he came off early injured. Kevin Downes is definitely out and we’ll see how Shane Dowling is as the week goes on.”

Laois meanwhile also suffered a heavy defeat going down 1-27 to 0-18 to neighbours Offaly in O’Connor Park and another loss could mean a relegation battle for the Midlander’s.

Team news:

Laois manager make one change from the side that by 12 points to Offaly for Sunday’s Allianz Hurling League clash with Limerick.

Stephen Maher has overcome injury and comes in at left half forward in place of Darren Peacock for the visit of John Allen’s side.

Teddy McCarthy only absentee is Brian Campion the only missing player.

Laois: E Reilly; B Stapleton, D Maher, B Smith; C Dunne, J Fitzpatrick, M Whelan; J Walsh, B Dunne; W Hyland, M McEvoy, S Maher; J Brophy, N Foyle, T Fitzgerald.


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