Dublin 0-12 Laois 0-9
Dublin moved to joint second in the Cadbury’s Leinster Under-21 football championship roll of honour after a strong defensive display in the closing stages earned the Metropolitans their eighth title at O’Moore Park this afternoon.
The visitors failed to score in a 14-minute spell during the second half, but still held enough in resolve to win out.
The Dubs were forced to defend until the bitter end with Cadbury hero of the match Dean Kelly claiming some vital points late on to secure the victory.
Jim Galvin’s charges withstood a strong Laois onslaught in the second half after the visitors let a six-point lead slip to two points with 13 minutes remaining but Dublin's solid defence helped them take the verdict.
Aided by a strong wind in the opening half, Dublin led by 0-5 to 0-1 in the 22nd-minute.
Laois also had scoring opportunities in the opening minutes but poor shooting cost them dearly, with Jason Moore's 12th-minute goal effort blazing wide of the target on a rare occasion that the Dublin defence was opened up.
Dean Rock, son the legendary Barney, Kelly and Paddy O'Connor were clinical in front of the posts for Dublin, but Laois responded with two Donie Kingston scores to cut the gap to four points at the interval.
Dublin broke six point clear on the restart thanks to scores from O’Connor and Paddy Andrews.
But Laois were resurgent and kept Dublin on the back foot to hold them scoreless over a 14-minute spell as scores from Kingston (2), defender Simon Shortall, Zach Tuohy and O’Loughlin cut the gap to a brace.
However, this was as good as it got for Laois as the Dublin youngsters held firm in the closing minutes to earn a first title for the capital at this level since 2005.
Dublin: D McDonnell; C Moore, R O’Carroll, H Gill; J Cooper, C O’Sullivan, N Brogan (0-1); C Murphy, K Nolan; P O’Connor (0-3, 2f), P Andrews (0-1), D Kelly (0-3); B O’Rorke (0-1), L Sweetman, D Rock (0-3, 2f 1 45). Subs: T Furman for Sweetman (39); J Sheanon for O’Connor (45); N Devereux for N Brogan (50); J Whelan for Moore (60)
Laois: M Dowling; R Kehoe, J Scully, N Gorman; R Ryan, G Reddin, S Shortall (0-1); J O’Loughlin (0-1), D Meredith; C Boyle, Z Tuohy (0-2), D Kingston (0-5, 4f); J Moore, B Glynn, J Doyle. Subs: A Doran for Moore (37); J Mulhare for Kehoe (55); K Lillis for Ryan (58)
Referee: Eddie Craul (Wicklow)