Dublin 1-13 Laois 0-11

Dublin are back on familiar ground, celebrating another title success after lifting the O'Byrne Cup for the tenth time though Dessie Farrell's crew were pushed hard by a determined Laois.

Led by experienced stars Brian Fenton and Ciaran Kilkenny, the Leinster champions battled with just 14 players for all of the second half following John Small's sending off.

The scores were tied when Small walked to the line in the 31st minute though the favourites dug deep in the second half to see off Billy Sheehan's side with five points to spare.

Sean Bugler's early goal for Dublin gave them a cushion throughout and ultimately separated the sides while Fenton and captain Kilkenny - competing in their first ever pre-season decider - added important scores too.

There were impressive cameos too from 2020 All-Ireland U20 finalist Lee Gannon while Castleknock's Robert Shaw was the 40th player to be used by Farrell in the competition.

Dublin's first O'Byrne Cup win since 2017 sets them up nicely for next Saturday's Allianz League opener against Armagh at Croke Park while Laois will open their Division 3 account against Louth.

John Small leaves the field after being dismissed by referee Cormac Reilly

Laois were outscored by 0-08 to 0-03 from the 45th minute onwards though will reflect on a positive pre-season overall as they bounced back impressively from a heavy defeat to Wexford in round one.

Dublin went with a mixture of new and experienced again, starting six players - David Byrne, Eoin Murchan, Small, Fenton, Kilkenny and Cormac Costello - that lined out against Mayo in last August's All-Ireland semi-final defeat.

As for Laois manager Sheehan, he looked at 34 different players en route to the final with five starters - Trevor Collins, John O'Loughlin, Kieran Lillis, Eoin Lowry and the excellent Evan O'Carroll - retained from the team that lined out in last July's Leinster Championship quarter-final defeat to Westmeath.

Dublin held a slender 1-05 to 0-06 lead at half-time but kicked themselves for a number of wasted opportunities. Cameron McCormack, a newcomer in midfielder from Ballymun, Costello and Aaron Byrne all came up short with point attempts while Harry Ladd struck a post. Tom Lahiff also winced as a seventh-minute shot at goal was expertly blocked by Laois goalkeeper Danny Bolger.

Dublin still took a commanding early lead with Bugler's fifth-minute goal after being set free by Fenton, helping them to lead by 1-01 to 0-00.

Lee Gannon is tackled by Laois' Mark Barry

Laois responded with four points in a row between the eighth and 16th minutes to draw level at the water break.

Laois pressed up hard on Dublin goalkeeper Michael Shiel's kickouts and got plenty of joy from the tactic, O'Carroll helping to win back possession high up the field in the 24th minute before pinching a point to leave the scores tied again at 1-03 to 0-06.

Dublin lost Small to a straight red card in the 31st minute. Small tangled with O'Carroll off the ball and following a consultation between referee Cormac Reilly and an umpire, the Meath official dismissed Small.

Interestingly, Small was also sent off in the 2018 Leinster final against Laois following an incident involving O'Carroll.

Reduced in numbers, Dublin were up against it but closed out the half with points from Costello and Ross McGarry to lead narrowly at the interval.

Laois tied it up again with points from O'Carroll and Barry in the third quarter but Dublin took over from there and drew on all their big-game experience to push decisively clear. Fenton and Kilkenny were to the fore in this period while Aaron Byrne fisted a point and Lahiff wrapped up the scoring with Dubln's last score in stoppage time.

Dublin: Michael Shiel; Lee Gannon (0-01, 1m), David Byrne, Eoin Murchan; Tom Lahiff (0-01), John Small, Kieran Kennedy; Brian Fenton (0-02), Cameron McCormack; Ross McGarry (0-02), Ciaran Kilkenny (0-02), Sean Bugler (1-00); Cormac Costello (0-02, 1f), Harry Ladd (0-01), Aaron Byrne (0-02).

Subs: Niall Scully for Ladd (ht), Lorcan O'Dell for McCormack (52), Warren Egan for McGarry (58), Killian McGinnis for Costello (69), Robert Shaw for Byrne (72).

Laois: Danny Bolger (0-01 '45); James Kelly, Trevor Collins, Alex Mohan; Sean O'Flynn, John O'Loughlin, Cathal Fennessy; Kieran Lillis, James Finn; Brian Byrne, Eoin Lowry, Cormac Murphy; Mark Barry (0-04, 3f), Evan O'Carroll (0-03), Sean Moore (0-02, 2f).

Subs: Gary Walsh (0-01) for O'Carroll (32-34, blood), Daniel O'Reilly for Murphy (50), Dylan Kavanagh for O'Flynn (54), Walsh for Moore (57), Brian Daly for Finn (60), Cian Doyle for Fennessy (69), Podge Dunne for Lillis (69), Dylan Doyle for Byrne (70).

Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath).