It took Longford Slashers quite some time to assert their superiority on the scoreboard but they eventually pulled away in the second half in proving too strong for Dromard in the Division 1 Football League clash at Pairc na nGael on Friday evening last.
Holding a slender 1-6 to 0-6 lead at the break with Niall Mulligan bursting his way through in evading a couple of tackles to fire home the crucial goal in the 7th minute, Slashers stepped up another gear in the second half in the process of shooting some great long range points.
Thus Denis Connerton’s side maintained their unbeaten record in the league this season and particularly impressive was one of their new recruits, Marc Diffley, whose general workrate was immense in operating a most effective roving role.
The so determined Diffley also kicked three points while also much to the fore in the scoring stakes for the emphatic winners were Colin Smith and Martin Nevin who clocked up a total of ten points between them. Needless to say, Slashers are strong contenders to regain the championship title this year but will be without experienced forward Stephen Phillips who is sidelined with a long term cruciate injury.
Other notable absentees last weekend were Peter Foy, Peter Brady and Mark Smith (all of whom are currently on the casualty list) while Dromard were minus injured duo Jamsie Martin and John Sheridan and have suffered a major blow with the loss of their most powerful player Diarmuid Masterson who has emigrated to Australia.
But the north Longford club (with Ciaran Fox back in charge) have secured the services of Ross McNerney this season, after he transferred from Colmcille, and the talented young forward fired over three cracking points during the course of the game. Francis McGee also kicked three scores (two frees) while Declan Mimnagh (1-1) and substitute Ronan McEntire were also on target for the home side.
Mimnagh gave Dromard a glimmer of hope when he pounced on the breaking ball to blast a first time shot to the net in the 51st minute, closing the gap to four points, but Slashers came storming back with three scores in a row from Colin Smith along with other excellent efforts from Niall Mulligan and Martin Nevin to run out comfortable winners.
Dromard had a chance of getting a consolation goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time when they were awarded a penalty but Francis McGee struck his shot against the crossbar and Slashers were full value for their eventual eight points winning margin with Brian Farrell and Barry Gilleran (converting a brilliantly struck ‘45’) also getting their names on the scoresheet.
DROMARD: Damien Sheridan; James Mimnagh, Peter Masterson, David Pettit; Paul McGee, Peter Reynolds, Kevin Donohoe; Noel Reynolds, Bernard Sheridan; Cian Mimnagh, Francis McGee (0-3, two frees), Emmet Masterson; Ross McNerney (0-3), Declan Mimnagh (1-1), Gary Maguire.
Sub:- Ronan McEntire (0-1) for G Maguire (39 mins).
LONGFORD SLASHERS: Colm Farrell; Dominic Glennon, Barry Gilleran (0-1, ‘45’), Gareth Ghee; Paul Kelly, Dermot Brady, Conor Clarke; David Sheridan, Michael Brady; Brian Farrell (0-1), Colin Smith (0-6, two frees), Trevor Clendenning; Niall Mulligan (1-1), Marc Diffley (0-3), Martin Nevin (0-4).
Subs:- Darren Flaherty for C Clarke (injured, 48 mins); Andrew Dalton for B Farrell (50 mins); Philip Dobson for D Sheridan (57 mins); Ross Flaherty for T Clendenning (second minute of stoppage time).
Referee: Frank Toher (Killoe Emmet Og).