Wexford 4-18 Laois 0-15
A good crowd made their way to Bellefield yesterday for what could be seen as dead rubber game but as Laois are to be our relegation playoff opposition there was a whiff of sulphur off this encounter. Wexford fielded a side with a number of debutants, positional changes and the return of the reliable Oulart defender Paul Roche and bar the late addition of Shaun Murphy for Ciaran Kenny in the half back line started the game as named. Laois manager, former Cork star, Teddy McCarthy made a number of changes to the team with 7 changes in total to the team that almost caused an upset in Casement Pak the week before.
Wexford were quick off the mark when Paul Morris was put through by a piece of intelligent play by Jack Guiney and he made no mistake firing past the Laois keeper. Wexford led 1-4 to 0-0 by the eight minute of the game, while an under siege Laois did not register their opening point until the13th minute through a Willie Hyland free. Laois however to their credit did not fold and while their inside attack was restricted they kept the scoreboard ticking over through some excellent free taking. Wexford widened the lead when Jack Guiney dispatched a now trademark rocket from a placed ball to the net. At the break it stood Wexford 2-09 to Laois 0-09. Laois must have been pleased not to be further behind as Wexford’s wastefulness, shooting wide after wide, left the door slightly ajar for the second half.
However on the resumption, right from the throw in, the impressive Ferns man, Paul Morris raced through the middle and rifled home a goal from close range, it was Wexford 3-09 to 0-09. To add to Laois’s woes, they were now down to 14 after a rash challenge as Morris was goal bound. Wexford were now in full control and when Rory Jacob cracked home Wexford’s 4th goal of the afternoon it was game over. In the closing period Liam Dunne made a number of changes including the debut of Jonathan Fogarty who got in on the scoring with a point.
All in all, it’s hard to know what was learned but Paul Morris, Shaun Murphy and Jack Guiney all impressed while Paul Roche was his usual assured self and Gizzy showed flashes of his old form. Next up the relegation play off against Laois on the 15th
WEXFORD: E Martin; W Devereux, P Roche, E Moore; R Kehoe, D Stamp, S Murphy (0-1); M O’Hanlon, E Quigley; H Kehoe (0-2), J Leacy, D Lyng (0-1); P Morris (2-2), J Guiney (1-8, 1-5 frees, 0-1 65), R Jacob (1-2). Subs: J Tonks for Stamp (half-time), I Byrne for for Leacy (half-time), PJ Nolan (0-1) for Quigley (inj, 46 mins), B Kenny for Murphy (51 mins), J Fogarty (0-1) for Jacob (51 mins).
LAOIS: D Hanlon; P Mullaney, D Maher, B Stapleton; B Guilfoyle, M Whelan (0-2, one free), S Bourke; C Coonan, J Walsh (0-1); S Lowney (0-3), A Collier, D O’Mahoney; C Murray, W Hyland (0-9, three frees, One 65), B Reddon. Subs: N Unwin for Guilfoyle (53 mins), G Burke for Bourke (55 mins), M Meade for Stapleton (55 mins), B Dunne for Lowney (59 mins), W Dunphy for Walsh (64 mins).