A strong second half performance steered Dromard to a convincing win over Longford Slashers and thus consolidated their place at the top of the Division 1 League table before the championship begins.
Apart from a spell in the first half where Slashers enjoyed possession, Dromard were in control for the majority of the game at Pairc na nGael on Saturday evening last and restricted their disappointing opponents to just one point in the second half.
Slashers did kick a number of wides, wasted a good goal chance and also hit the crossbar but they put in a below par performance and will want to improve before the defence of their county title. Dromard, on the other hand, played very well and on the evidence of this display will be strong contenders for the Connolly Cup.
Early points were traded before Dromard got their first goal when Francis McGee capitalised on a mistake by Slashers keeper Colm Farrell to blast the ball to the net. Colin Smyth replied with a free for Slashers but Ronan McEntire then hit over an excellent point for Dromard.
There was two in it again in the 10th minute when Peter Foy scored a good point from play but Dromard hit back with another goal with Cian Mimnagh hitting the target.
Slashers gradually began to get into the game and after wasting a goal chance in the 13th minute, scores from Martin Tarmey, two points from Colin Smith (2) and Niall Mulligan brought them to within one of Dromard by the 25th minute.
Smith drew the sides level in stoppage time before Francis McGee fired over a great point to leave Dromard in front at the break, 2-3 to 0-8.
It was all Dromard in the early stages of the second half and points from Cian Mimanagh, Ross McNerney (2) and wing back Emmet Masterson gave the north Longford side a decisive.
Two McNerney frees put Dromard further ahead and Slashers had to wait until the 56th minute for their only a score of the second half - a free converted by Colin Smith.
Dromard had the final when they scored another goal through Ross McNerney and were 10 points clear at the final whistle.
DROMARD: Damien Sheridan; James Mimnagh, Peter Reynolds, David Pettit; Paul McGee, Jamsie Martin, Emmet Masterson (0-1); Diarmuid Masterson, Ronan McEntire (0-2); Francis McGee (1-2, 1f), Peter Masterson, Cian Mimnagh (1-1); Declan Mimnagh, John Sheridan, Ross McNerney (1-4, 3f).
Subs:- Padraig Martin for D Mimnagh (38 mins); Bernard Sheridan for J Sheridan (49 mins); Padraig McNerney for J Martin (55 mins); Kevin Donohoe for D Masterson (59 mins); Niall Vance for R McNerney (61 mins).
LONGFORD SLASHERS: Colm Farrell; Peter Brady, Barry Gilleran, Gareth Ghee; Trevor Clendenning, Dermot Brady, Andrew Dalton; Niall Mulligan (0-1), Michael Brady; Martin Tarmey (0-1), Colin Smith (0-6, 5f), David Sheridan; Martin Nevin, Peter Foy (0-1), Tom Madden.
Subs:- Darren Flaherty for P Brady (injured, 38 mins); Niall Kelly for M Tarmey (46 mins); Stephen Phillips for M Nevin (55 mins): Shane Rogers for T Madden (58 mins).
Referee: Patrick Maguire (St. Maryâ€™s Granard).