Laois have won both their games so far.
LAOIS WENT from a position of coasting through the second-half to hanging on for dear life at the end, before eventually collecting their second successive Electric Ireland Leinster Minor football championship Group 2 victory at the expense of strong-finishing Wexford, in a sub-standard encounter in Innovate Wexford Park on Wednesday.
The wasteful visitors built solidly on their 0-7 to 0-2 interval lead by adding the opening three points on the re-start, but they only struck one more score from the 38th minute onwards.
A wides tally of 16 ensured that the Wexford challenge wasn't killed off, even though the home side - who hadn't scored from play in a 1-17 to 0-7 first round loss to Kildare - seemed totally lacking in ideas when they got to the opposing 45-metre line.
They were thrown a lifeline in the 51st minute when substitute Jack O'Leary finished a Ciarán Kavanagh handpass to the net, and Lee Jordan added a point to narrow the gap to 0-10 to 1-3.
Eamonn Delaney's third converted free with just under three minutes of normal time left eased some pressure on Laois, but they conceded a second goal at the death when Wexford's Robert Murphy floated in a '45 and Jack Finucane drove high to the net.
Indeed, the unthinkable - a Laois loss - seemed possible when Lee Jordan lobbed in another late free, but Cathal Bennett gathered the ball and set a length-of-the-field move in motion.
It ended with Seamus Farrelly popping the ball to fellow substitute Josh O'Brien who rounded the goalkeeper but was hauled back before he could tap it into an empty net.
O'Brien hooked the penalty that followed low and to the left for the 16th Laois wide, but they had done enough earlier to ensure that those misses didn't cost them outright victory.
They did have an early scare when Wexford's Harry Kehoe hit the crossbar, but they controlled the first-half once free-taker Eamonn Delaney opened the scoring in the ninth minute.
They had surged 7-1 clear by the 22nd minute, with the last point the pick of the bunch as midfielder Ben Conroy fired over a beauty from the 45-metre line.
Seán O'Neill, Oisín Byrne (two frees), Rioghan Murphy and Delaney (free) were all on target too, but Laois didn't help their cause with six wides between the 26th minute and half-time to bring their total to ten before the break.
It looked like a comfortable win was on the cards all the same when Murphy and a brace from play by Byrne stretched their lead to 0-10 to 0-2 midway through the third quarter.
Thirteen scoreless minutes followed before Wexford grabbed that first goal, and it made for a nervous finish for a Laois side that will need to be more clinical from now on.
Laois: Tom Wright; Seán Greene, Michael Bennett, Cathal Bennett; Niall Carey, Eamonn Delaney (0-3 frees), Seth Burns Mooney; Josh Lacey, Ben Conroy (0-1); Darragh Galvin, Seán O'Neill (0-1), Enda McWey; Oisín Byrne (0-4, 2 frees), Rioghan Murphy (0-2), Damon Larkin. Subs. - Seamus Farrelly for Galvin (38), Josh O'Brien for Byrne (48), Cathal Doyle for Lacey (51), Conor Goode for McWey (54), Seán Michael Corcoran for Murphy (58), Brian Fingleton for Conroy, inj. (60+2).
Wexford: Anthony Larkin; James O'Leary, Robert Murphy, Ollie Gahan; Harry Kehoe, Jamie Sheehan (0-1), Ciarán Kavanagh (capt.); Emmet Cullen (0-1), Mark Kehoe; Adam Mullins, Ciarán Regan, Lee Jordan (0-1); Jack Doran, Emmett Nolan, Lee Nolan. Subs. - Jack O'Leary (1-0) for Mullins (HT), Conor Kehoe for Doran (38), Jack Finucane (1-0) for Gahan (47), Niall Connolly for H. Kehoe (47), Paudie Casey for L. Nolan (60).
Referee: John Hickey (Carlow).
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.