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Youthful Wexford romp to 19-point win over Laois

Mikie Dwyer (2), Rory O’Connor and Conor Hearne hit the net for Davy Fitzgerald’s men.

Wexford's Gavin Bailey and Lee Cleere of Laois.
Wexford's Gavin Bailey and Lee Cleere of Laois.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Wexford 4-17

Laois 0-10

WEXFORD SCORED 2-2 in second-half stoppage-time to hand themselves a 19-point win over Laois in today’s Division 1 Group B tie.

Inside the last five minutes Laois had hauled themselves back to within seven points, but Davy Fitzgerald’s side powered home with an unanswered 2-6 after the 66th minute.

Young forward Mikie Dwyer bagged two goals in the first-half while fellow rookie Conor Hearne added 1-1 from midfield. It was a day where Fitzgerald handed a number of opportunities to emerging talent as wing-back Gavin Bailey picked up man-of-the-match honours.

Wexford brought star players Rory O’Connor and Lee Chin off the bench in the second period and their class told.

It was a difficult opening day for Seamus ‘Cheddar’ Plunkett on his return to the Laois job, though they’ll view upcoming games against Antrim and Clare as winnable fixtures.

Laois started well, leading by 0-2 to 0-1 in the opening stages. Had it not been for five wides early on, they’ve had been further in front. Wexford slowly kicked into gear as Harry Kehoe and Conor McDonald fired over scores to leave them in front by the water break. 

Then Dwyer struck for two goals in the space of three minutes. For the first goal he batted it into the net after a piercing run forward by young debutant Conor Hearne.

A long Jack O’Connor free was contested by McDonald on the edge of the square and Dwyer pounced on the rebound to double his goal tally.

Wexford led by 2-6 to 0-4 at half-time. PJ Scully and Paddy Purcell added points for Laois as their performance levels raised after the break.

By the 65th minute, efforts from Jack Kelly and Scully brought Laois to within seven. 

Rory O’Connor was hauled down by Lee Cleere as he went through on goal and he was sin binned with Wexford awarded a penalty. Chin’s effort was well saved by Enda Rowland however.

But Wexford left no doubt as to their superiority in the finale, as Chin found the orange with three frees and goalkeeper Seamus Casey – converted from a corner-forward this season – landed a placed ball from inside his own half. 

O’Connor hit the net in the 75th minute and from the next attack Hearne put the ball in the net to round off the win in style.

Scorers for Wexford: Mikie Dwyer 2-0, Conor Hearne 1-1, Harry Kehoe (0-1f) and Lee Chin (0-3f) 0-3 each, Gavin Bailey, Diarmuid O’Keeffe and Simon Donohoe 0-2 each, Conor Devitt, Seamus Casey (0-1f), Jack O’Connor (0-1 65) and Conor Devitt 0-1 each.

Scorers for Laois: PJ Scully 0-6 (0-3f, 0-1 65), Ross King 0-2, Jack Kelly and Paddy Purcell 0-1 each.

Wexford

1. Seamus Casey (Oylegate-Glenbrien)

2. Damien Reck (Oylegate-Glenbrien)
3. Liam Ryan (Rapparees)
4. Conor Firman (St Martin’s)

5. Gavin Bailey (Ferns St Aidan’s)
6. Simon Donohoe (Shelmaliers)
7. Conal Flood (Cloughbawn)

8. Diarmuid O’Keeffe (St Anne’s)
9. Conor Hearne (Shelmaliers)

15. Kevin Foley (Rapparees)
11. Jack O’Connor (St Martin’s)
13. David Dunne (Davidstown-Courtnacuddy)

12. Mikie Dwyer (St Mogue’s Fethard)
14. Conor McDonald (Naomh Éanna)
25. Harry Kehoe (Cloughbawn)

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17. Shane Reck for Damien Reck (28)
22. Rory O’Connor for Jack O’Connor (40)
24. Lee Chin for Kehoe (40)
20. Liam Og McGovern for McDonald (50)
21. Aidan Nolan for Dwyer (56)
18. Matthew O’Hanlon for Ryan (67)
23. Conor Devitt (0-1) for Dunne (67)

Laois

1. Enda Rowland

2. Lee Cleere
3. Sean Downey
4. Donnchadh Hartnett

5. Jack Kelly
6. Podge Delaney
7. Ryan Mullanney

8. Fiachra Fennell
9. Paddy Purcell

10. Aaron Dunphy
11. Charlie Dwyer
12. Ciaran Collier

13. David Dooley
14. Ross King
15. Ciaran Comerford

Subs

22. James Ryan for Fennelly (temporary sub, 13-16)
22. Ryan for Dunphy (30)
19. Diarmuid Conway for Comerford (53)
23. James Keyes for Purcell (63)
20. Colm Stapleton for Collier (69)
21. Conor Phelan for Fennell (72)
18. Ciarán McEvoy for Mullaney (72)

About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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