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Wexford's high fives cut down Laois


Conor McDonald's two goals came at important times for the Model County

Conor McDonald's two goals came at important times for the Model County


Conor McDonald's two goals came at important times for the Model County

Wexford moved into second place in NHL Division 1B on Sunday as they hit five goals in this win over Laois.

After Limerick's surprise loss to Offaly the day before, the Model men moved back into the promotion mix after this high-scoring encounter in O'Moore Park.

Ian Byrne scored 0-15 for Liam Dunne's men, but it was their goals which eventually broke Laois' resolve. Four of them came in the second half, as Wexford managed to find the back of the net at crucial stages in the game.

Byrne and Zane Keenan traded pointed frees in the opening four minutes and Wexford's first goal arrived moments later. Liam Óg McGovern was put through and he shot low past Eoin Reilly as Cahir Healy failed to close him down. Laois responded well as Cha Dwyer pointed from the right wing less than a minute later, but Byrne and Diarmuid O'Keeffe scored in quick succession to push Wexford four clear.

The home side enjoyed wind advantage in the first half and they slowly started to make it count as the minutes ticked by. Ross King and Willie Hyland pointed either side of another Byrne free as Laois began to compete a bit better, but Harry Kehoe scored to keep Wexford four ahead.

Laois finally started to make inroads into that lead when a run of three points in two minutes put the game back in the balance. With just one in it, Wexford again needed Byrne to push them ahead, but points from PJ Scully, Willie Hyland and Paddy Purcell saw Laois take the lead for the first time.

They couldn't hold on until half-time, however, and Conor McDonald's point in injury-time left the Model County 1-11 to 0-13 ahead at the break.

They couldn't have asked for a better, or more fortuitous, start to the second half when McDonald's long ball into the penalty area was fumbled to the net by Reilly.

Laois hit back with points from Hyland and a sideline cut from PJ Scully, but an incisive Wexford move ended with David Redmond firing to the net from close range.

With a five point lead and wind advantage, the game was Wexford's to lose from here. They were made to battle all the way to the end at least by Laois, who got back to within three points at one stage.

The win was finally sealed in a two minute spell midway through the second half, when Podge Doran and McDonald scored Wexford's fourth and fifth goals to kill off the game.

It didn't end the scoring, with Keenan and Byrne trading points from frees in the closing minutes, but it made little difference in the end as Wexford claimed a deserved win.

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