WEXFORD were left to rue yet another inept display as they made an immediate drop back to Division 3 after a three-point defeat to Laois at Wexford Park.
Laois were safe going into this game, carrying an outside chance of promotion, while Wexford needed a victory to secure their Division 2 status. That win never looked on the cards and the home side were somewhat flattered to have been just three points adrift at the end.
The opening to the game was tentative enough with the sides level at 0-2 each through the opening 10 minutes, but that was as close as the Model County were to get.
It was all going to plan for Laois as they picked off some excellent points through Gary Walsh, Colm Begley, MJ Tierney and Ross Munnelly, helping them built an interval lead of 0-10 to 0-2
Laois swarmed forward straight from the second-half throw-in with Padraig McMahon kicking an excellent point, stretching his side's lead to nine points.
Wexford's Ben Brosnan responded with an excellent point, and Red Barry's penalty after 39 minutes reduced the deficit to five points, 0-11 to 1-3.
After the sides continued to trade points, three Wexford points without reply left just three between them, 0-13 to 1-7.
When PJ Banville added a further point three minutes later, Wexford were within two of their opponents.
But they were unable to get to grips with the situation in the closing minutes as Laois closed out the game with a neat Munnelly point.
The visitors even played out the closing five minutes with 14 men after sub Conor Boyle was dismissed for a second yellow-card offence.
Man of the match: P McMahon (Laois)
SCORERS – Laois: P McMahon, R Munnelly 0-3 each, M J Tierney (2fs), G Walsh (1 '45'), C Kelly 0-2 each, K Meaney, C Begley 0-1 each. Wexford: R Barry 1-0 (pen), PJ Banville, S Roche (2fs) 0-2 each, C Lyng, B Brownan, M Furlong, P Byrne 0-1 each.
LAOIS – E Culleton 7; P O'Leary 6, D Booth 7, P Begley 7; D Strong 6, J O'Loughlin 7, P McMahon 9; K Meaney 8, B Quigley 8; R Munnelly 7, C Meredith 6, C Begley 7; M J Tierney 7, G Walsh 7, C Kelly 7. Subs: D O'Connor 6 for Walsh (45); C Boyle 5 for O'Loughlin (50); D Kingston 6 for Meredith (60); K Lillis 6 for Strong (62).
WEXFORD – A Masterson 6; J Wadding 5, G Molloy 7, R Tierney 6; B Malone 7, D Murphy 6, L Chin 7; D Waters 7, R Quinlivan 6; J Holmes 5, R Barry 7, P J Banville 7; S Roche 6, C Lyng 6, B Brosnan 5. Subs: A Flynn 5 for Holmes(29); C Carty 5 for Tierney (48); M Furlong 7 for Quinlivan (48); P Byrne 7 for Brosnan (52).
REF – C Lane (Cork)