A strong start to the game laid the foundations for this victory, as they opened up an 11 point lead after just 20 minutes, before being forced to play out the rest of the game under intense pressure as Wexford, minus their Oulart-the-Ballagh players, tried to reel them in.
Laois were quickest out of the traps, with Willie Hyland pointing two early frees to set them on their way. Chris Murray then took advantage of a mistake from Wexford goalkeeper Noel Carton to sweep home the game’s first goal, with Willie Hyland adding another minutes later.
Wexford slowly worked their way back into the game and trailed by seven at half time, 2-8 to 0-7. They kept that form up at the start of the second half, and had the lead down to two points with 18 minutes to go when Peter Atkinson struck for a goal.
Despite that, Laois managed to keep their noses in front, and late attempts from Wexford to manufacture a goal proved fruitless due to some resolute defending. Laois now face into a home semi-final against Kilkenny this weekend.
Scorers for Laois: W Hyland 1-10 (0-8 frees, 0-1 65’), C Murray 1-0, M Bermingham, J Walsh, J Purcell, T Fitzgerald, J Brophy, B Dunne 0-1 each.
Scorers for Wexford: J Berry 0-7 (all frees), P Atkinson 1-1, PJ Nolan, E Martin, T Waters 0-2 each, K Burke, E Furlong 0-1 each
LAOIS: E Reilly; B Smith, B Campion, B Stapleton; M Bermingham, M Whelan, C Dunne; J Walsh, S Bourke; C Murray, O Houlihan, W Hyland; J Purcell, T Fitzgerald, J Brophy.
Subs: J Fitzpatrick for Bourke (42), B Dunne for Houlihan (50), JA Delaney for Bermingham (60).
WEXFORD: N Carton; D Kehoe, M O’Hanlon, B Hobbs; R Kehoe, C Kenny, W Doran; C Farrell, E Martin; PJ Nolan, T Waters, S Banville; P Atkinson, K Burke, J Berry. Subs: E Furlong for Berry (66).
Referee: David Hughes (Kilkenny).