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Bugler and Fenton inspire 14-man Dublin to O'Byrne Cup final success over Laois

John Small’s first-half red card made things more complicated for Dublin, who ground down an impressive Laois side.

Lee Gannon scores a point.
Lee Gannon scores a point.
Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Dublin 1-13

Laois 0-11

A FOURTH-MINUTE GOAL from Sean Bugler and a powerful second-half display from Brian Fenton helped 14-man Dublin get the better of Laois in a hard-fought O’Byrne Cup final in Dr Cullen Park this afternoon.

Dessie Farrell’s side – who for the first time since 2015 aren’t starting the season as defending All Ireland champions – played more than half the game with 14 men following the dismissal of John Small on a straight red card late in the first half.

But with a mixture of new and established names they did just enough to grind down a brave Laois side in the second half.

Laois had only beaten Kildare in a penalty shootout in Wednesday’s semi-final and they started most of the same team here for what was their fifth game in 15 days.

But despite Dublin waltzing in for a well-taken Bugler goal early on, Laois enjoyed plenty of play in that first half with Evan O’Carroll, in particular, causing problems for the Dublin defence.

Small was given his marching orders for lashing out at O’Carroll off the ball in an incident that forced the Laois man off until half time with a bloody nose – but late points from Ross McGarry and Cormac Costello helped the Dubs to a 1-5 to 0-6 lead at the break.

Points from O’Carroll and Mark Barry early in the second half levelled things up for Laois but they couldn’t get their noses in front.

Dublin had another gear and points from Fenton, Aaron Byrne, Costello, McGarry and youngster Lee Gannon saw them home.

Scorers: Dublin - Sean Bugler 1-0, Brian Fenton 0-2, Cormac Costello 0-2 (one free), Harry Ladd 0-1, Aaron Byrne 0-2, Ciaran Kilkenny 0-2, Ross McGarry 0-2, Lee Gannon 0-1 (mark), Tom Lahiff 0-1

Laois: Mark Barry 0-4 (three frees), Evan O’Carroll 0-3, Sean Moore 0-2 (two frees), Danny Bolger 0-1 (one 45), Gary Walsh 0-1

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DUBLIN: Michael Shiel; Lee Gannon, David Byrne, Eoin Murchan; Tom Lahiff, John Small, Kieran Kennedy; Brian Fenton, Cameron McCormack; Sean Bugler, Ciaran Kilkenny, Ross McGarry; Cormac Costello, Harry Ladd, Aaron Byrne. Subs: Niall Scully for Ladd (ht), Lorcan O’Dell for McCormack (52), Warren Egan for McGarry (58)

LAOIS: Danny Bolger; James Kelly, Trevor Collins, Alex Mohan; Sean O’Flynn, John O’Loughlin, Cathal Fennessy; James Finn, Kieran Lillis; Brian Byrne, Eoin Lowry, Cormac Murphy; Mark Barry, Sean Moore, Evan O’Carroll. Subs: Gary Walsh for O’Carroll (30, blood, reversed HT), Danny O’Reilly for Murphy (49), Dylan Kavanagh for O’Flynn (54), Gary Walsh for Moore (56), Brian Daly for Finn (60), Cian Doyle for Fennessy, Dylan Doyle for Byrne and Podge Dunne for Lillis (all 68)

Referee: Cormac O’Reilly (Meath)

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