McGraynor goal settles thriller
Wicklow 5-12 Carlow 3-13
Seán McGraynor's goal finally killed off the challenge of a Carlow side that had wiped out a second-half deficit of nine points in a thrilling match at IT Carlow.
Carlow took a first-minute lead through a goal from wing-forward Diarmuid Walsh but a porous home defence conceded three first-half goals as pacy Wicklow centre-forward Patrick O'Connor scored the opener and set up the second for full-forward Marc Lennon.
Gary Allen got the third goal from a penalty to help the Garden County to a 3-6 to 1-7 half-time lead, which was harsh on Carlow.
When Cathal Magee scored Wicklow's fourth goal on 40 minutes to make it 4-8 to 1-9, it looked curtains for Carlow but they were right back in contention with a brace of goals in the space of two minutes from corner-forward Niall Lowry.
Carlow hit three points to level matters - the equaliser from a long-range free from Diarmuid Walsh - as the game looked destined to end level.
But Wicklow reasserted themselves and a free from Allen, followed by a goal from midfielder McGraynor's, provided the visitors with safe passage through to the next round.
Scorers - Wicklow: G Allen 1-4 (1-0 pen, 0-3fs), P O'Connor 1-2, M Lennon 1-1, J C Magee, S McGraynor 1-0 each, J O'Callaghan 0-2, D Boothman, M Cullen, M O'Sullivan 0-1 each. Carlow: N Lowry 2-2, D Walsh 1-2 (0-2fs), C O'Brien, D Lunney, D Smithers, L O'Sullivan 0-2 each, S Webb 0-1.
Wicklow - I Murphy; C McGorman, E Mara; C Healy, E Murtagh, M Cullen; D Boothman, S McGraynor; J O'Callaghan, P O'Connor, C Magee; G Allen, M Lennon, M O'Connor. Subs: B McCormack for P O'Connor (44); D Gethings for Healy (56); R Marron for Allen (BC, 63).
Carlow - C White; A Byrne, J Murphy, C Kelly; M Rennick, M Furey, C O'Toole; K Chatten, D Wall; D Walsh, C O'Brien, L O'Sullivan; D Smithers, D Lunney, N Lowry. Subs: C Byrne for Furey (27); S Webb for Wall (BC, 32); C McGrath for O'Toole (45).
Ref - D Moore (Laois).
Lowry strikes to put Laois in command
Eoin Lowry was Captain Fantastic as Laois cruised to a comfortable win over Louth at an icy Haggardstown.
There was little to choose between the sides before the pacy full-forward rifled a cracking finish past Fergal Sheekey two minutes before the interval, and despite losing the equally impressive Evan O'Carroll to injury just after the break, the visitors didn't look back.
Cian Doyle and Dean Maguire were Louth's danger men in an entertaining first half and the hosts did rally before the break to close the gap to 1-8 to 0-9. However, Laois grabbed the first four points of the second half to assume control again.
Maguire had a glorious chance to get Louth back into it, but somehow scooped his effort over the crossbar.
The home side were still posing a threat at that stage, but points from Tom Shiels, and Sean Moore, and then a fortuitous deflected goal from sub Michael Keogh put the issue beyond doubt.
Cian Doyle and Keogh exchanged further goals in the closing stages, but Doyle's evening was cut short by a straight red card in the dying minutes.
SCORERS - Laois: E Lowry 1-4, M Keogh 2-0, S Moore 0-5f, E O'Carroll 0-4 (1 '45), T Shiels, N Murphy 0-1 each. Louth: C Doyle 1-4, R Burns 0-4 (3f), D Maguire 0-2, D Hamill (f), T McEneney, D Lafferty, J Clutterbuck 0-1 each.
LAOIS - A Cooney; L Knowles, A Campion, E Buggie; T Collins, R Dowling, D O'Reilly; B Daly, N Murphy; D Hickey, E O'Carroll, A Dowling; C Murphy, E Lowry, S Moore. Subs: T Shiels for O'Carroll (33), M Keogh for A Dowling (39), C Dunne for Daly (60+).
LOUTH - F Sheekey; P Kirk, R Curran, N Sharkey; E Lafferty, P Matthews, K Faulkner; C Early, M Corcoran; D Hamill, B McLaughlin, R Burns; D Maguire, D Lafferty, C Doyle. Subs: J Clutterbuck for Corcoran (33), A O'Brien for McLaughlin (44), H Osborne for Sharkey (49), T McEneaney for D Lafferty (54), D McConnon for Maguire (55).
REF - S McCarthy (Dublin)
Laois 3-15 Louth 1-14
Shanley leads late Model blitz
Wexford turned in a splendid closing quarter to fashion a fully deserved victory in Enniscorthy.
Longford played their best football midway through the first half - a period in which which they scored two fine goals.
The opening goal came after 13 minutes through Larry Moran, who finished a Liam Sullivan cross to the net, bringing them level, 1-0 to 0-3.
The Wexford points came from Niall Hughes and two Donal Shanley frees.
Playing a fast, open brand of football, Longford got a second goal eight minutes before the break, when Dessie Reynolds shored with a low shot. That score helped them to a 2-1 to 0-5 interval lead.
After Sean Ryan and Reynolds had exchanged points on the resumption, Longford, through points from Moran and Rionn Brady, led 2-4 to 0-8, as the game entered the final quarter.
However, with Niall Hughes and Glen Malone gaining control in midfield, the home side turned in a splendid final quarter.
They outscored their opponents 0-6 to 0-1, with Shanley kicking over three excellent points to add to points from Ian Carty, Brian Power and Ryan.
That late blitz secured their passage through to the next round.
Scorers - Wexford: D Shanley 0-7fs, S Ryan 0-3, N Hughes, B Power, E Nolan, E Roche 0-1 each. Longford: D Reynolds, L Moran 1-1 each, D McGivney 0-2fs, R Brady 0-1.
Wexford - B Turne; D Barden, J Rossiter, R Vallego; S Doyle, N Rossiter, S Donohoe; N Hughes, G Malone; E Nolan, I Carty, B Power; D Shanley, E Roche, S Ryan. Sub: J Carty for Power.
Longford - S Fitzpatrick; R Sweeney, A Farrell, E Macken; L Hughes, C Farrell, V Hourican; S Kenny, D McGivney; P Kiernan, L Sullivan, D Reynolds; L Moran, N Rabbitte, C Berry. Subs: R Brady for Berry; C Brady for Kenny; F Sheridan for Kiernan.
Ref - S Mulhare (Laois)
Wexford 0-14 Longford 2-5