Misery for relegated Wexford

Wexford 1-8 Laois 0-14

Misery for relegated Wexford

Wexford 1-8 Laois 0-14

The Wexford footballers were relegated from Division 2 after going down 0-14 to 1-8 to Laois at Wexford Park.

Wind-assisted Laois, with Padraig McMahon and Ross Munnelly standing out, showed greater sharpness to power ahead by half-time, leading by 0-10 to 0-2.

Wexford gained a ray of hope when Redmond Barry netted a penalty to cut the gap to 0-11 to 1-3 after 40 minutes. But Laois thwarted their spirited efforts ahead of a possible Championship rematch.

Points from Wexford's Shane Roche (free) and Ciarán Lyng inside the first 11 minutes sandwiched similar efforts from the midlanders' Kevin Meaney and Pádraig McMahon in a tight opening.

But as errors entered Wexford's play the sharper Laois crew capitalised to shoot eight unanswered points.

That scoring streak including a brace apiece from Ross Munnelly and Gary Walsh, as Justin McNulty's men maintained their slim chances of snatching promotion.

Eight points adrift at the break, Wexford looked to be in serious trouble and they fell further behind when classy wing back Pádraig McMahon sauntered through from the throw-in to increase the gap to 0-11 to 0-2.

But the home side hit back with a point from Ben Brosnan before captain Redmond Barry netted a penalty which was won by PJ Banville.

Laois restored breathing space by the 55th minute, however, courtesy of an MJ Tierney free and a Colm Kelly point as they pushed the margin out to 0-13 to 1-4.

Wexford were fighting for survival and they raised their game with a string of points between the 57th and 65th minutes. Substitute Paddy Byrne, Banville (0-2) and Shane Roche (free) all split the posts to make it 0-13 to 1-8.

But, despite Laois seeing substitute Damien O'Connor dismissed for a second yellow card, McNulty's side withstood a barrage of closing attacks from Wexford.

Munnelly's third point helped the O'Moore men secure the victory and a respectable mid-table finish, with Wexford joining Longford in suffering an immediate return to Division 3.

WEXFORD: Anthony Masterson; Joey Wadding, Graeme Molloy, Robert Tierney; Lee Chin, David Murphy, Brian Malone; Daithí Waters, Rory Quinlivan; Shane Roche (0-2, 0-2f), PJ Banville (0-2), James Holmes; Ciarán Lyng (0-1), Redmond Barry (1-0, 1-0 pen), Ben Brosnan (0-1).

Subs used: Adrian Flynn for Holmes, Michael Furlong (0-1) for Tierney, Conor Carty for Quinlivan, Paddy Byrne (0-1) for Brosnan.

LAOIS: Eoin Culliton; Peter O'Leary, Denis Booth, Paul Begley; Darren Strong, John O'Loughlin, Pádraig McMahon (0-3); Kevin Meaney (0-1), Brendan Quigley; Ross Munnelly (0-3), Conor Meredith, Colm Begley (0-1); MJ Tierney (0-2, 0-2f), Gary Walsh (0-2, 0-1 '45'), Colm Kelly (0-2).

Subs used: Damien O'Connor for Walsh, Conor Boyle for O'Loughlin, Donie Kingston for Meredith, Kieran Lillis for Strong.

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)

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