Longford Slashers 1-11 Dromard 1-9: Inspired by captain and man-of-the-match Dermot Brady, Longford Slashers won the County Senior Football Championship title for the third time in the space of four years when they withstood a determined Dromard comeback in a hard fought final at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday.
Watched by an attendance in the region of 3,000 who braved the wet and windy conditions, Slashers held the upper hand for most of the game and thanks to a tenth minute goal from Peter Foy last year's runners-up ended up holding a fairly comfortable 1-5 to 0-3 lead at the break.
Full-forward Foy also fired over a couple of points while the other Slashers scores all came from frees converted by Colin Smith. Dromard had to wait until the 13th minute for their opening score when Ronan McEntire shot over the bar while Cian Mimnagh and Jamsie Martin (free) were also on target for the north Longford side.
With the advantage of the wind in the second half, Dromard got off to a great start with a fisted point from Francis McGee after just 20 seconds but Slashers were in no mood to let victory slip from their grasp and after Colin Smith fired over a free, his brother Mark was most unlucky not to score a goal when he shot against the post in the 34th minute.
But Dromard came a lot more into the game on the changeover and midway through the second half the gap was closed to just two points with Cian Mimnagh landing a cracking effort and they almost found the back of the Slashers net in the 39th minute when Ross McNerney had a close range shot well saved by the opposing keeper Colm Farrell.
After David Sheridan shot over the bar to leave Slashers 1-10 to 0-9 ahead in the 50th minute, Michael Brady had a goal disallowed for the town side following a square infringement in the 55th minute.
Dromard launched an immediate counter-attack with substitute Declan Mimnagh planting the ball in the back of the net to leave just a solitary point separating the sides (1-10 to 1-9) but the pressure was eased on Slashers when Mark Smith converted a close range free in the 57th minute and that was the way it finished with Denis Connerton's experienced side taking the county title.
LONGFORD SLASHERS: C Farrell; D Glennon, B Gilleran, G Ghee; P Brady, D Brady, M Diffley (0-1); M Brady, D Sheridan (0-1); T Clendenning, N Mulligan (0-1), M Nevin; M Smith (0-1, free), P Foy (1-2), C Smith (0-5, 0-4 frees). Sub: A Dalton for T Clendenning (57 mins).
DROMARD: D Sheridan; P McGee, P Masterson, D Pettit; K Donohoe, J Sheridan, P McNerney; N Reynolds, B Sheridan; E Masterson, R McEntire (0-1), J Martin (0-2, frees); R McNerney, F McGee (0-4, 0-2 frees), C Mimnagh (0-2). Subs: P Reynolds for P Masterson (30 mins); D Mimnagh (1-0) for E Masterson (44 mins); J Mimnagh and G Maguire for N Reynolds and J Martin (51 mins).
Referee: F Kelly (Ballymahon).