Wexford ease past Laois

Wexford 4-18 Laois 0-15

Wexford 4-18 Laois 0-15

Wexford had 15 points to spare over Laois after a disappointingly one-sided Division 1B duel at Bellefield.

Liam Dunne’s men gained the psychological edge ahead of the sides’ relegation play-off, with Paul Morris (2), Jack Guiney and Rory Jacob finding the midlanders’ net.

James Walsh hit Laois’ opening point after 20 minutes and they trailed by 2-9 to 0-9 at half-time.

They had defender Paddy Mullaney sent-off early in the second period and Wexford were in cruise control after that.

The sole aim for both of these counties heading to the Enniscorthy venue was to give themselves a boost ahead of the relegation play-off on April 15.

The hosts made eight changes to the team that lined out in the Clare defeat, including a welcome first start of 2012 for Diarmuid 'Gizzy' Lyng and a late switch saw Shaun Murphy replacing Ciaran Kenny in the half-back line.

Laois were also much changed from their loss to Antrim last time out, but the early signs pointed to a comfortable victory for Wexford.

They moved ominously into a 1-4 to 0-0 lead with free-taker Jack Guiney landing four frees and providing the assist for corner forward Morris' fifth-minute goal.

A long ball downfield from Richie Kehoe was collected by Guiney who offloaded for Morris to lash home and make it 1-1 to 0-0. The Model men might have had a second goal shortly afterwards, only for Laois net minder Eoin Reilly to thwart Rory Jacob from point blank range.

Wides blighted both sides' play in the opening quarter with Laois unable to get off the mark. They did so through midfielder Walsh and Matthew Whelan added a second to close the gap to 1-4 to 0-2.

After Wexford's wides tally moved to nine, Guiney got them back on the rails by finishing smartly to the net to punish Mullaney for a bad foul on the advancing Jacob.

Guiney finished the first half with 1-6, including four points from frees and two from play, with Harry Kehoe and Murphy also finding their range.

The O'Moore men lived off frees for the most part, with Willie Hyland sending over some quality scores. However, that good work counted for little when corner back Mullaney received his second yellow card early in the second half.

He struck Morris as he blazed through right from the throw-in to score his second goal. Credit to Laois, they showed great heart to close the gap to 3-9 to 0-12 with the ever accurate Hyland leading by example.

David O'Mahony also got on the scoresheet for Teddy McCarthy's charges, however they were fighting a losing battle and points from Jacob and Morris were followed by a deserved goal for the former.

Now 4-12 to 0-12 to the good, Wexford had little difficulty in seeing out the result as Guiney (0-2), Lyng, Harry Kehoe and substitutes PJ Nolan and Jonathan Fogarty tagged on a succession of points.

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