Two late saves from Graham Brody helped Laois hold on for a one-point win in a thrilling clash in O'Moore Park on Saturday.
With the new handpass rule causing consternation, Laois had a goal disallowed in the opening half after Paul Kingston was adjudged to have illegally passed. From the resulting attack, Wicklow earned a penalty and Michael Mangan shot to the net to help Wicklow go in ahead at the break 1-6 to 0-8.
Laois took control in the second half, and despite late efforts from the outstanding McGraynor and a '45 from Aaron Murphy, the brilliant Brody rescued Laois twice and Wicklow went home empty-handed.
SCORERS - Laois: P Kingston 0-5 (0-4f), D Byrne 0-4 (0-2f), J Farrell 0-3, D O'Connor, D Hayden 0-2 each, S McAuley 0-1. Wicklow: C McGraynor 0-8 (0-7f), M Mangan 1-0 (1-0p), S O'Rourke 0-2, A Murphy (0-1 '45), S Lohan, D Keane 0-1 each.
LAOIS - G Brody; S Murphy, L Kearney, R Dunne; P McEvoy, J Bolton, K Bracken; J Farrell, A Ryan; N Mullen, D Byrne, D O'Connor; S McAuley, D Hayden, P Kingston. Subs: M Dowling for Bolton (43), E Costello for Mullen (49), J Campion for Byrne (60).
WICKLOW - P Miley; P O'Toole, P O'Connor, J Manley; B Swords, S Ryder, J Kelly; C McGraynor, J Henderson; A Murphy, M Mangan, P Crowley; S O'Rourke, N Meldon, P O'Rourke. Subs: D Keane for Ryder (15), S Murphy for Swords (h-t), S Lohan for O'Rourke (38), M Healy for Crowley (54).
Ref - B Hickey (Kildare).