Report from www.gaa.ie
Photo (c) from Sportsfile www.sportsfile.com
Quarter final confirmed against Waterford in Innovate Wexford Park on weekend of April2/3rd, most likely as double header with footballers versus Carlow on Sunday 3rd. Crucial games for both teams.
ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE D1B: LAOIS 0-21 WEXFORD 0-22
By Daragh Small at O’Moore Park
Conor McDonald shot eight points as Wexford made amends for their shock defeat last weekend to get the better of Laois at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise.
Kerry’s stunning win over Offaly in Birr looked like it would send them through to the Division I quarter-finals, but this last gasp win for Wexford denied the Kingdom that glory and it is the Models who advance to the last eight, with Kerry condemned to a relegation play-off against Laois.
Liam Dunne’s men were shocked 2-22 to 3-11 at home to Offaly in Round 4 but they secured a place in the final eight with this result. Shane Tomkins got the crucial score in the 73rd minute as Wexford fought back with three late points to win it.
Clare beat Limerick in their promotion play-off in Ennis, but there was a different prize for the winner of this game in Portlaoise.
Wexford came into the game knowing that a win would likely be enough to secure a Division 1 quarter-final place for them. However even a victory would not have sufficed for Laois in their struggle to forgo their relegation battle for 2016.
They made the better start as two quick-fire points from John Lennon and Willie Hyland pushed them into an early lead in front of the small attendance.
But Wexford hit the next three scores, Conor McDonald tapped over two as they took the lead and PJ Scully, who hit 1-5 against Limerick, got Laois back on level terms with a free.
McDonald fired back, but Laois who looked lethargic in their play against Limerick in that 32-point hammering at the Gaelic Grounds last weekend, led 0-6 to 0-4 when Hyland scored his second point.
But Wexford were undoubtedly the classier side on show, and they hit six without reply as late replacement Ian Byrne chipped in with three points.
Laois fought back and only trailed 0-14 to 0-11 at half-time, and they made a tremendous start to the second-half as they hit five of the first six scores. When Pat Purcell struck a fine point from distance they led 0-16 to 0-15 ten minutes into the second-half.
But McDonald hit back again for Wexford and he, and Scully went point for point as neither side could get a comfortable lead with time ticking away.
And when Patrick Purcell shot two points, Laois took command with a two-point lead. However, Wexford kept their heads and their experience told as Tomkins got the winning score in injury time, following the two quick scores previous to that which had levelled the game up.
Scorers for Laois: PJ Scully 0-9 (7f), C Dwyer 0-3, W Hyland 0-2, J Lennon 0-1, W Dunphy 0-2, C Stapleton 0-1, P Purcell 0-2, S Maher 0-1
Scorers for Wexford: C McDonald 0-8 (6f), I Byrne 0-5 (1f), S Tomkins 0-4, P Morris 0-2, L Óg McGovern 0-1, C Dunbar 0-1, L Chin 0-1
LAOIS: E Rowland; C Healy, R Mullaney, D Maher; L Bergin, M Whelan, T Delaney; P Purcell, C Stapleton; J Lennon, C Dwyer, W Hyland; PJ Scully, W Dunphy, S Maher. Subs: P Lalor for Delaney (23 mins), C McEvoy for Bergin (45), R King for Dunphy (45), B Reddin for Stapleton (55), B O’Meara for D Maher (64).
WEXFORD: C O’Leary; M O’Hanlon, L Ryan, J Breen; L Chin, P Foley, E Moore; J O’Connor, A Nolan; I Byrne, L Og McGovern, S Tomkins; P Morris, C McDonald, H Kehoe. Subs: D O’Keefe for Breen (45 mins), C Dunbar for Kehoe (54), E Conroy for O’Connor (60), A Kenny for Morris (66).
Referee: Sean Cleere (Kilkenny).