St Flannan’s had a couple of their 2003-winning side available, which made all the difference, and are clearly the team to beat in this year's championship.
The Clare college opted to play with the strong wind in the first half and were 1-5 to nil up inside the opening five minutes.
Towering centre forward Bernard Gaffney had 1-1 on the scoreboard for Flannan’s after a minute, and the signs were ominous for DLS.
St. Flannan’s showed their class after 10 minutes with a second goal from Conor Tierney and by the end of the opening quarter were 2-8 to 0-1 in front, John Kearney scoring DLS's solitary point from a free.
The scores didn't come as frequently in the second quarter as DLS began to hurl with more authority, epitomised by the excellence of John Kearney at wing back, David Ellis at centre back and Michael Sexton at midfield, and they matched their opponents point for point for the remainder of the half, but a 2-11 to 0-3 half time lead looked insurmountable.
The second half was keenly contested as DLS threw everything at Flannans. Two Thomas Kearney points in quick succession gave the Waterford side great hope but they needed a goal or two if they were to pull down that huge half-time deficit.
That never looked likely against a rock-solid Flannans defence, well marshalled by John Moloney and Ciaran O'Doherty.
All credit to DLS however who continued to hurl with great commitment and skill, but their only reward was two points. Flannans' third goal, scored by Gerry Arthur, came against the run of play and only after a great save by the DLS 'keeper from Jack Nealon in the closing minutes.
It's going to take a very good team to dethrone the champions, while DLS could well make the knockout stages if they can show greater penetration in attack.
: St. Flannan’s: G. Arthur 1-5 (0-1 free); B. Gaffney (0-1 free). C. Tierney 1-2 each; C. Madden 0-2; N. Killeen, C. Ryan, C. Neylon, J. Neylon 0-1 each. DLS: T. Kearney 0-4 (0-3 frees); J. Kearney, C. Maloney, T. Connors 0-1 each.
: P. Kelly; C. O'Doherty, J. Moloney, M. O'Donnell; G. Lyons, S. Hickey, G. Hannigan; S. O'Halloran, C. Neylon; N. Killeen, B. Gaffney, C. Madden; C. Tierney, G. Arthur, C. Ryan. Subs. I. Colleran for C. Neylon; S. Talty for C. Tierney; J. Neylon for B. Gaffney; D. Ryan for C. Ryan; K. Raftery for M. O'Donnell.
: J. O'Keeffe; S. Richardson, S. Walsh, E. Ryan; J. Kearney, D. Ellis, F. McGrath; M. Sexton, D. Greene; P. Deedy, T. Connors, T. Kearney; R. Kearns, S. Loughman, C. Moloney. Subs. N. Kelly for Kearns; P. Kennedy for Ryan; D. Kirby for Deedy.
: B. White (Wexford).