Wexford set up mouth-watering clash with Kilkenny following demolition of Laois
Wexford 3-25 Laois 1-17
Wexford hurlers duly booked an eagerly anticipated June 10 meeting with Kilkenny by demolishing thirteen-man Laois in O'Moore Park.
It proved all one-way traffic for the Model County in a pedestrian second-half during which Cha O'Dwyer and Willie Dunphy were both shown red cards by Cork referee, Cathal McAllister.
With manager, Davy Fitzgerald, watching from the stand, Wexford were slow out of the blocks and found themselves 0-0 to 0-3 behind inside just five minutes. The Laois midfield pairing of Ross King and Paddy Purcell were especially prominent here, continuing the fine form they displayed throughout the round-robin series.
The match-practice those three games gave Laois seemed to stand to them in those early stages, their hurling far sharper and their aggression more highly calibrated.
But they were knocked back on their heels in the sixth minute when Paul Morris and David Redmond combined to put Harry Kehoe in for a relatively simple goal to tie the scores.
That seemed to embolden Wexford, yet a pre-occupation with adding further goals prevented them pulling well away from their hosts through the remainder of the half. Aidan Nolan (twice), Ciaran McDonald and Jack O'Connor all spurned relatively simple point chances by going for goal only to find Laois net-minder, Enda Rowland, in defiant form.
No matter, Wexford still led 1-11 to 0-9 at the mid-point, with O'Connor and Kehoe looking especially lively in attack.
A 43rd minute Aidan Nolan goal effectively killed any remote chance Laois might had of sarvival and substitute, Jack Guiney, put the final nail in their coffin with Wexford's third goalin the 53rd minute.
SCORERS: Wexford - C McDonald 0-9 (0-5 frees), P Morris 0-5, H Kehoe 1-2, A Nolan 1-1, J Guiney 1-0, L Chin 0-3 (0-1 free), J O'Connor 0-2, S Murphy, D O'Keeffe and D Redmond 0-1 each.
Laois - R King 0-7 (0-5 frees), P Purcell 1-1, A Dunphy 0-2, C Collier, C Dwyer, S Downey, J Lennon, W Dunphy, S Maher and C Taylor 0-1 each.
WEXFORD: O O'Leary, S Donohue, L Ryan, J Breen, S Murphy, M O'Hanlon, D O'Keeffe, E Martin, A Nolan, J O'Connor, D Redmond, H Kehoe, C McDonald, L Chin, P Morris. Subs J Guiney for Redmond, B Carton for O'Connor, D Dunne for Nolan, E Moore for Breen, L Og McGovern for Morris.
LAOIS: E Rowland, L Cleere, L Bergin, D Palmer, C Collier, C Dwyer, M Whelan, R King, P Purcell, S Downey, J Lennon, W Dunphy, J Kelly, N Foyle, S Maher. Subs - C Taylor for Kelly, A Dunphy for Cleere, M Kavanagh for Lennon.
Referee - C McAllister (Cork).