SPARKLING Kevin O'Grady inspired Wexford to a well-deserved four-point victory over Louth in Enniscorthy.
The sides were deadlocked 0-3 each after 14 minutes, but then O'Grady kicked two delightful points. A Kevin Rogers point kept Louth in touch, but a cracking goal from corner-back Conor Carty helped Wexford build a commanding 1-10 to 0-4 interval lead.
Louth started the second half with more urgency, with a goal from a Jimmy McEneaney penalty three minutes in handing them a lifeline. They had reduced the deficit to four points -- 1-11 to 1-7 -- when they had wing-back James Craven dismissed on a second yellow.
Wexford regained the initiative and with a string of points from Michael O'Regan, Liam Og McGovern and O'Grady they moved into a 1-15 to 1-7 lead.
A second McEneaney goal from a penalty with five minutes to go was not enough to put them back in it.
SCORERS -- Wexford: K O'Grady 0-6 (3f), M O'Regan 0-5 (5f), C Carty 1-0, L Og McGovern, M O'Hanlon, D Murphy, P Kelly 0-1 each. Louth: J McEneaney 2-3 (2-0 pens, 3f), K Rogers 0-3 (1f), A McDonnell (f), E O'Neill 0-1 each.
Wexford -- R Farrell; M Furlong, S Gaul, C Carty; D Butler, J Breen, L Og McGovern; M O'Hanlon, M O'Regan; D Murphy, E Kent, P Kelly; K O'Grady, C Kehoe, B Halpin. Sub: T Rossiter for Murphy (51).
Louth -- J Flanagan; P Bannon, D O'Hanlon, P Englishby; J Craven, L Shevlin, D Moloney; J Califf, S O'Hanlon; A McDonnell, J McEneaney, E O'Neill; K Rogers, M Rogers, D Kierans. Subs: R Moore for S O'Hanlon (17); C Hoey for D O'Hanlon (22); B Hamilton for D Kierans (37); E O'Connor for O'Neill (48); T Hand for Englishby (52).
Ref -- B Hickey (Kildare).