Farrell stars to sustain Wexford hopes
Wexford kept their promotion hopes alive in Portlaoise yesterday when they had four points to spare over Laois in a disappointing game.
Wexford were in control for most of the 70 minutes and they were full value for their win.
They did most of the damage either side of half-time when they outscored Laois by 1-9 to 0-2.
A goal from corner-forward Peter Atkinson was the crucial score and while Laois staged a late revival with a goal from Zane Keenan, Wexford held on until the final whistle.
Playing with the aid of a breeze in the first half, Wexford built up a six-point half-time lead.
Midfielder Colm Farrell was the star of the show in the opening period. He got the scoring under way with a point from play in the first minute and went on to add two more in an impressive 35-minute spell.
The sides were evenly matched early on and were level at 0-3 each after 18 minutes, but then Wexford went on a scoring spree.
Five points on the trot -- two from Diarmuid Lyng and one each from Rory Jacob, Stephen Banville and Farrell -- pushed them five clear by the half-hour mark.
The goal arrived a minute later when full-forward Banville fed Atkinson and he showed good composure to finish smartly from close range.
Points from Joe Fitzpatrick and Willie Hyland reduced the gap but Wexford still went in at the break in a strong position.
Wexford hit the first four points of the second half to push into a 10-point lead and although Laois battled hard, they never looked like overtaking the visitors.
Although Keenan's goal -- after a great run from John A Delaney -- left just four points between the sides, Wexford responded immediately and late points from Lyng, Jacob and Eoin Quigley kept them on course for a league final place against Clare.
SCORERS - Wexford: D Lyng 0-5 (0-3f), C Farrell 0-4, P Atkinson 1-1, S Banville, R Jacob 0-3 each, A Shore, E Quigley 0-1 each. Laois: W Hyland 0-5 (0-4f), Z Keenan 1-2 (0-1f), J Fitzpatrick 0-3, E Costelloe 0-2, E Reilly (0-1f), T Fitzgerald 0-1 each.
WEXFORD -- N Carton; P Roche, E Doyle, K Rossiter; R Kehoe, D Stamp, C Kenny; M Molloy, C Farrell; A Shore, W Doran, D Lyng; R Jacob, S Banville, P Atkinson. Subs: E Quigley for Doran (15), M Travers for Molloy (64), T Watkinson for Shore (68), T Mahon for Banville (70).
LAOIS -- E Reilly; C Dunne, D Maher, C Healy; M McEvoy, M Whelan, JA Delaney; J Fitzpatrick, J Walsh; E Costelloe, Z Keenan, W Hyland; T Fitzgerald, N Foyle, J Rowney. Subs: E Houlihan for Rowney (42), J Prior for Dunne (45), J Purcell for Foyle (53), B Dunne for Costelloe (57).
ref -- G Duffy (Antrim).