Wexford retained their Division 1B status in Nowlan Park by overcoming Laois. Goals proved decisive with the Model County scoring five. Laois men failing to raise a green flag.
The O’Moore County controlled the game for the opening 20 minutes only to concede two goals as the game edged towards half time. These goals seemed to knock the heart out of Laois. Things got worse at the beginning of the second half when Wexford scored a third goal.
The effort from the players was commendable, but the truth is that the standard of play was poor from both sides. Wexford struggled badly early on, but that was primarily down to Laois playing an extra defender, perhaps because of the goals they conceded against the same opposition a few weeks ago.
Despite Wexford’s dominance in the second half, Laois kept in touch and their efforts deserved a goal or two. The first touch of the Laois players, though, was poor and too often they were caught in possession when a quick delivery would have been the better option.
Both teams badly needed to retain their Division 1B status, perhaps Wexford more so than Laois. But even their most loyal and dedicated supporters must surely realise that Wexford must show considerable improvement in every area if they are to have any chance in the Leinster championship.
Dropping to Division 2 will do nothing to improve Laois hurling. Unlike last year, team manager, Teddy McCarthy, has a committed group of players, but they need lots of tutoring and support before they can once again become a competitive force.
Carlow deservedly won the Division 2 final. The county has made solid progress over the past two years. It will be interesting to see how they perform in Division 1B next year.
Carlow and Laois clash on May 19 in the opening round of the Leinster senior hurling championship. Carlow picked up eight out of nine points in the League on the way to winning the title.
Laois lost all their five League games plus the relegation play-off. The momentum right now is with Carlow.