WEXFORD 6-21 LAOIS 0-12
By Steven Miller at MW Hire O’Moore Park
Wexford got their first win of this year’s Leinster SHC when they had a massive 27 points to spare over Laois in O’Moore Park.
On a dark miserable afternoon, Laois stayed in touch throughout the first half but they posed no real scoring threat up front and Wexford hit five goals in the second half to win comfortably.
PJ Scully hit six frees and Enda Rowland got one though Scully also hit a couple wide he’d usually hit.
For Wexford Lee Chin got six points in the opening half while Conor McDonald was also a threat and his goal in the 14th minute was a crucial score.
In a low-key opening half, Laois had it back to four points by the 27th minute but Wexford landed three points in a row coming up to the break to stretch seven clear. PJ Scully pulled another free back for Laois but it was 1-10 to 0-7 at the half time.
Wexford got the first two points of the second half from Rory O’Connor and Liam Og McGovern but Laois responded with Ryan Mullaney pointing well in the 43rd minute – their first score from play.
But Wexford got the next four – from Liam Og McGovern, Matthew O’Hanlon, Damien Reck and a Lee Chin free – and the sending off of Fiachra C-Fennell after he picked up a second yellow on the 50-minute mark made Laois’s task all the more difficult.
A minute later Rory O’Connor got in for Wexford’s second goal and after that it was only a matter of what Wexford would score and how much they’d win by.
Having drawn their first game and lost their second, Wexford needed everything they got.
Goalkeeper Mark Fanning came up to drill two penalties past Enda Rowland and Diarmuid O’Keeffe and Kevin Foley got one apiece.
In the end 27 points separated the sides on what was another draining afternoon.
For Wexford, they play Westmeath in the next round before a mouth-watering clash against Kilkenny in the final round.
After a gruelling three weeks, Laois now have a week off before welcoming Galway. A week later they’re at home to Westmeath, a game that will essentially be a relegation playoff.
Scorers for Wexford: Lee Chin 0-7 (four frees, one ’65), Mark Fanning 2-1 (2-0 penalties, 0-1 free), Rory O’Connor 1-3, Conor McDonald 1-2, Diarmuid O’Keeffe 1-1, Kevin Foley 1-0, Liam Og McGovern 0-2, Damien Reck, Matthew O’Hanlon, Conall Flood, Conor Devitt and Jack O’Connor 0-1 each.
Scorers for Laois: PJ Scully 0-8 (all frees), Enda Rowland (free), Ryan Mullaney, Aidan Corby and Brandon McGinley 0-1 each
WEXFORD: Mark Fanning; Simon Donohue, Liam Ryan, Conor Devitt; Paudie Foley, Damien Reck, Matthew O’Hanlon; Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Liam Og McGovern; Lee Chin, Jack O’Connor, Charlie McGuckin; Rory O’Connor, Conor McDonald, Conor Hearne. Subs: Conall Flood for McGuckin (45), Mikie Dwyer for Hearne (50), Paul Morris for Chin (60), Kevin Foley for Devitt (60), Cathal Dunbar for O’Keeffe (66)
LAOIS: Enda Rowland; Donnchadh Hartnett, Sean Downey, Fiachra C Fennell; Ciaran McEvoy, Liam O’Connnell, Ryan Mullaney; Jack Kelly, James Keyes; Cha Dwyer, Willie Dunphy, Paddy Purcell; Ben Conroy, PJ Scully, Mark Dowling. Sub: Aidan Corby for Dowling (HT), Ciaran Byrne for Dunphy (53), John Lennon for Conroy (58), Brandon McGinley for Dwyer (62), Conor Phelan for Purcell (69)
REFEREE: Colum Cunnin (Antrim)