Carlow dominated at the start but, after racing into a 0-7 to 0-3 lead, lost their way. Things boiled over on the half hour when a number of players from both sides became involved in a fracas. Offaly referee Brian Gavin issued straight red cards to Carlow’s Marty Kavanagh and Wexford’s Tomás Waters.
Wexford led 0-9 to 0-7 at the break and when, in the 41st minute, Paul Morris struck a goal, it was 1-9 to 0-8. Resilient Carlow wiped the arrears to retake the lead with a neat point from play by substitute Craig Doyle on 54 minutes but spurned a goal chance when Padraig Nolan shot wide with the goal gaping.
When Carlow’s effective full back Eoin Nolan was sent off for a second yellow card, the game was up, and Rory Jacob raced through to crash home an insurance goal late on.
Scorers for Wexford: G Moore 0-9 (8fs), P Morris 1-2, R Jacob 1-0, D Redmond, A Kenny, G Sinnott, H Kehoe 0-1 each.
Scorers for Carlow: S Kavanagh 0-5 (3fs), M Kavanagh 0-4 (3fs), M Brennan, J Kavanagh 0-2 each, J M Nolan, C Doyle, R Coady (65) 0-1 each.
Wexford: N Breen; B Kenny, T Waters, E Moore; R Kehoe, A Shore, L Chin; D Redmond; A Kenny; H Kehoe, S Murphy, G Sinnott; P Morris, M O’Regan, G Moore.
Subs: P Doran for Murphy (ht), R Jacob for O’Regan (ht), E Doyle for R Kehoe (51), J Tonks for Chin (56), C O’Shaughnessy for Kenny (57).
Carlow: N Roberts; H P O’Byrne, E Nolan, D Shaw; J O’Hara, R Coady, J Corcoran; D English, E Coady; S Murphy, S Kavanagh, M Kavanagh; J Kavanagh, JM Nolan, P Nolan.
Subs: M Brennan for Nolan (inj, 25), D Byrne for Corcoran (34), C Doyle for Murphy (45), P Coady for P Nolan (50).
Referee: B Gavin (Offaly).