Laois, in search of a first win of the campaign, opened brightly with a point from John Lennon after 10 seconds. Willie Hyland added another before Tomkins opened the Wexford account. A quick-fire double soon followed from Conor McDonald, one from a free, to see the visitors take the lead for the first time, but PJ Scully soon restored parity.
The turning point came when Wexford hit four points without reply to lead 0-14 to 0-11 at the break.
Laois quickly drew level thanks to the accuracy of PJ Scully, and the home side started to dictate the play. Scully, Paddy Purcell and Picky Maher all found the target, with Conor McDonald keeping Wexford in touch from placed balls. Laois looked to have done enough when Scully and Purcell both pointed in the closing stages. But they hit three bad wides as time ticked away, and Wexford made them pay with that late scoring surge. Next up for Laois is a relegation playoff with Kerry.
C McDonald 0-8 (7f), S Tomkins 0-5, I Byrne 0-4 (1f), P Morris 0-2, L Óg McGovern, C Dunbar, L Chin 0-1 each.
PJ Scully 0-9 (7f), C Dwyer 0-3, P Purcell, W Dunphy, W Hyland 0-2 each, C Stapleton, S Maher, J Lennon 0-1 each.
E Rowland; C Healy, R Mullaney, D Maher; L Bergin, M Whelan, T Delaney; P Purcell, C Stapleton; W Hyland, C Dwyer, J Lennon; S Maher, W Dunphy, PJ Scully.
P Lalor for Delaney (23), C McEvoy for Bergin (44), R King for Dunphy (44), B Reddin for Stapleton (55, inj), B O’Mara for Maher (64).
C O’Leary; L Ryan, M O’Hanlon, J Breen; E Moore, P Foley, J O’Connor; L Chin, I Byrne; H Kehoe, S Tomkins, A Nolan; P Morris, C McDonald, L Óg McGovern.
D O’Keeffe for Breen (44), C Dunbar for Kehoe (54), E Conroy for O’Connor (61), A Kenny for Morris (66).
S Cleere (Kilkenny)