The sides were deadlocked 0-3 each after fourteen minutes, but then O’Grady kicked two delightful points. Although a Kevin Rogers point kept Louth in touch, a cracking goal from corner-back Conor Carty handed the initiative to the home side. Wexford went on to build a commanding 1-10 to 0-4 interval lead.
Louth started the second-half with a goal from a Jimmy McEneaney penalty three minutes in. They had reduced the deficit to four points, 1-11 to 1-7, when they had wing-back James Craven dismissed.
Wexford regained the initiative through the dominance of Michael O’Regan and Matthew O’Hanlon while a string of points from O’Regan, Liam Óg McGovern and O’Grady pushed them 1-15 to 1-7 ahead before a goal from a second McEneaney penalty handed the visitors a lifeline.
Wexford scorers: K O’Grady 0-6, 3f; M O’Regan 0-5 frees; C Carty 1-0; L Óg McGovern, M O’Hanlon, D Murphy, P Kelly 0-1 each.
Louth: J McEneaney 2-3, 2-0 pens; 0-3 frees; K Rogers 0-3, 0-1 free; A McDonnell (f), E O’Neill 0-1 each.
WEXFORD: R Farrell; M Furlong, S Gaul, C Carty; D Butler, J Breen, L Og McGovern; M O’Hanlon, M O’Regan; D Murphy, E Kent, P Kelly; K O’Grady, C Kehoe. Sub: T Rossiter for Murphy (51).
LOUTH: J Flanagan; P Bannon, D O’Hanlon, P Englishby; J Craven, L Shevlin, D Moloney; J Califf, S O’Hanlon; A McDonnell, J McEneaney, E O’Neill; K Rogers, M Rogers, D Kierans.
Subs: R Moore for S O’Hanlon (17); C Hoey for D O’Hanlon (22); B Hamilton for D Kierans (37); E O’Connor for O’Neill (48); T Hand for Englishby (52).
Referee: B Hickey (Kildare).