It was a historic first championship Friday and the Croke Park bigwigs can be pleased with the dividend, as 4,606 turned up at Dr Cullen Park.
Supporters were treated to a very entertaining affair, with the home side kicking some prodigious points with the wind in the first half, before Pádraig McMahon's (pictured) sensational 33rd-minute solo goal enabled Laois to go in at the break trailing by just one point, 0-8 to 1-4.
Jack Kennedy chipped over the first two points and Carlow were four clear after just four minutes.
The magnificent Brendan Murphy kicked the first of his three points in the opening half, and finished off a brilliant team move involving John Murphy, Eoghan Ruth and Kennedy soon after to stretch the margin to five.
Donie Kingston pointed a free before Darren Strong kicked Laois' first score from play in the 25th minute. The game's most significant score arrived before the interval as McMahon picked up possession inside his own half from Kieran Lillis and embarked on a slaloming run.
A burst of pace made early ground and with his colleagues' runs drawing defenders out of his path, he suddenly found himself 14 metres out. Not for the first time, he wasn't found wanting in such a position and slotted the ball right-footed beyond Trevor O'Reilly.
David Conway found the net within a minute of the restart and Laois never looked back.
Kingston kicked a couple of frees before departing limping and Clancy hit a deserved score before being taken off by Justin McNulty.
Kingston's replacement, Colm Kelly, palmed Laois' third goal 14 minutes from time.
Brian Murphy and John Murphy gave Carlow some reward for their efforts but Laois finished with the last three points from John O'Loughlin, Conway and Kelly to keep their hopes of a redemptive qualifier run alive.
Scorers – Laois: D Conway, C Kelly 1-1 each; D Kingston(fs), R Munnelly(2fs) 0-3 each; P McMahon 1-0; D Strong 0-2; P Clancy, K Lillis, J O'Loughlin 0-1 each. Carlow: Brendan Murphy, J Kennedy, Brian Murphy(2fs) 0-3 each; D Foley 0-2(1f); J Murphy 0-1
Laois: E Culliton; M Timmons, P Begley, P O'Leary; D Strong, K Lillis, P McMahon; J O'Loughlin, P Clancy; B Sheehan, C Meredith, C Begley; D Conway, D Kingston, R Munnelly. Subs: C Kelly for Kingston (51); D Booth for P Begley (53); C Boyle for Clancy (60); N Donoher for Sheehan (63); S Attride for Strong (63)
Carlow: T O'Reilly; B Kavanagh, C Lawler, BJ Molloy; K Nolan, S Redmond, T Bolger; J Murphy, D Foley; P Reid, J Kennedy, S Gannon; Brian Murphy, E Ruth, Brendan Murphy. Subs: W Minchin for Foley (48); M Doyle for Nolan (50); C Moran for Reid (58); S Mernagh for Redmond (62); C Murphy for Bolger (62)
Referee: F Kelly (Longford)