Laois capitalise as wasteful Wexford throw away their chance
Ross Munnelly shows the was as O’Moore County progress
Wexford’s Rory Quinlivan tries to stop John O’Loughlin of Laois at Wexford Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Laois 0-16 Wexford 2-8
Laois had to survive many unnerving moments before eventually seeing of the challenge of a wasteful Wexford side in this thrilling All-Ireland third round qualifier at Wexford Park on Saturday evening.
The final statistic tells its own story for Wexford kicked 16 wides in total, 11 in the first half, compared to their opponents’ solitary two wides, both in the second period, as they kicked away an opportunity to progress through to the final phase of the qualifiers.
Laois only created a single goal chance and that was in the closing seconds when sub Colm Kelly had his attempt brilliantly deflected over the bar by keeper Anthony Masterson, while the home side also missed two clear-cut goal opportunities as they failed to put their opponents away.
For Laois Manager Justin McNulty it was simply relief on the final whistle.
“All I can say is that we’ll have to improve for if we play to that standard again we won’t win the next game. That’s the reality of the situation.”
Laois, aided by points from Billy Sheehan and Ross Munnelly, led 0-3 to 0-2 after seven minutes. Just after Sheehan from a free had stretched his side’s lead, Wexford in a splendid move produced the game’s opening goal after 13 minutes.
PJ Banville completed a fine move involving Redmond Barry and Ciarán Lyng to make it 1-2 to 0-4 lead after 13 minutes and after 20 minutes Barry set up Adrian Flynn who shot splendidly to the net to give his side a 2-2 to 0-5 lead.
But Laois managed to compose themselves, finishing the half with three Munnelly points, two frees, and Colm Begley to trail by a single point, 2-4 to 0-9 at the interval.
Three unanswered points through Begley, John O’Loughlin and a Munnelly free edged Laois 0-14 to 2-6 lead after 54 minutes and as Wexford missed chances they held out in a frenetic finish.