Wexford took the psychological boost away from this clash as they hammered a very poor Laois outfit with 15 points to spare at Bellefield yesterday.
The sides must do it all over again in two weeks time when they meet in the relegation play-off, but Wexford will still take some comfort from the displays of youngsters Jack Guiney and Paul Morris in attack.
While this fifth successive league defeat will have done little for Laois’s confidence, one can expect a whole new approach come the relegation play-off, although they have considerable ground to make up.
Wexford dominated this game from the outset, racing into a 1-4 to 0-0 lead inside eight minutes. After 19-year-old Guiney had pointed the home side in front, he set up Paul Morris for a splendid goal.
Laois had to wait until the 13th minute for their opening score, a Willie Hyland pointed free.
Wexford pounced for their second goal when Guiney beat a crowded Laois goal with a blistering shot from a 21m free.
But points from Matthew Whelan and Hyland hauled Laois back into the game and they trailed 2-9 to 0-9 at the interval.
Within 30 seconds of the restart Laois were dealt a double blow. Corner-forward Paul Morris shot low past debutant Danny Hanlon, but in the lead-up Paddy Mullaney was yellow carded for a wild pull on Morris, his second of the game.
Laois managed to respond with points from Willie Hyland and Sean Lowney but Wexford took control, with Dizzy Lyng, Richie Kehoe, Shaun Murphy and Matthew O’Hanlon dominating the outfield play.
Guiney and Jacob added goals as they continued to control proceedings leaving Laois manager Teddy McCarthy with much soul searching ahead of the relegation play-off in two weeks’ time.
Scorers for Wexford: J Guiney 1-8 (1-5fs, 1 65), P Morris 2-2, R Jacob 1-2, H Kehoe 0-2, S Murphy, D Lyng, PJ Nolan, J Fogarty 0-1 each.
Scorers for Laois: W Hyland 0-9, (3fs, 1 65), S Lowney 0-3, M Whelan 0-2 (1f), J Walsh 0-1.
WEXFORD: E Martin; W Devereux, P Roche, E Moore; R Kehoe, D Stamp, S Murphy; M O’Hanlon, E Quigley; H Kehoe, J Leacy, D Lyng; P Morris, J Guiney, R Jacob.
Subs: J Tonks for Stamp (ht), I Byrne for Leacy (ht), PJ Nolan for Quigley (inj. 46), B Kenny for Murphy (51), J Fogarty for Jacob (51).
LAOIS: D Hanlon; P Mullaney, D Maher, B Stapleton; B Guilfoyle, M Whelan, S Bourke; C Coonan, J Walsh; S Lowney, A Collier, D O’Mahoney; C Murray, W Hyland, B Reddon.
Subs: N Unwin for Guilfoyle (53), G Burke for Bourke (55), M Meade for Stapleton (55), B Dunne for Lowney (59), W Dunphy for Walsh (64).
Referee: T Carroll (Offaly).
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