The mid-Cork side were comfortably ahead in the second half by eight points, but Dromina battled back and will rue their tardy start when scores were wasted. Consequently, they are in a relegation play-off with Aghabullogue.
Drispey, who previously lost to Éire Óg and Kanturk, had wing-back Daniel Buckley sidelined to injury, yet they went 0-3 to 0-1 in front before Richard Morrissey put Dromina in the driving seat with a goal in the 10th minute. However, the Avondhu men failed to push on, suffering too at the hands of reliable free-taker Diarmuid O’Riordan.
O’Riordan tallied 10 points but, crucially, struck six in-a-row on the run up to the break and when Mark O’Sullivan netted after grasping a fine delivery from midfielder Gary Murphy a minute into injury-time, the Muskerry outfit had opened a substantial interval lead, 1-9 to 1-2.
Dromina were forced to introduce Pat Hayes (unfit to start) to their forward line at half-time and when Andrew O’Shaughnessy scored the first point there was more purpose to their play. They went looking for goals but were brilliantly denied a green flag when Stevie Murray bravely blocked from Richard Morrissey.
However, Dromina did find the net in the fourth quarter when Johnny Delee fired past John Hogan after fetching from O’Shaughnessy. Now, there was only two points in it, 1-12 to 2-7, with 12 minutes remaining.
Aidan Buckley tacked on a point for the Muskerry team and, critically, each time Dromina came back, Dripsey replied. Ray Crowley pulled off a cracking save for Dromina inside the final five minutes to keep their hopes alive, and when Delee and O’Shaughnessy pointed it was a one-point game.
As the frantic action swung from end to end, Conor Hayes’ clearance yielded the all-important point from Aidan Buckley, bringing a huge sigh of relief from Dripsey. The Dromina fightback had just come up short.
Scorers for Dripsey: D O’Riordan (0-10, six frees), M O’Sullivan (1-0), A Buckley (0-3), D O’Sullivan (0-2), G Murphy (0-1).
Scorers for Dromina: A O’Shaughnessy (0-7, three frees, two 65s), J Delee (1-1), R Morrissey (1-0), J Jordan (0-2), B Bowles (0-1).
DRIPSEY: J Hogan (capt); R Daly, P O’Riordan, S Murray; J Carey, C Hayes, A Murray; G Murphy, J Buckley; A Buckley, M O’Sullivan, D O’Riordan; D O’Sullivan, T Ahern, D Buckley.
Subs: B O’Regan for J Buckley (53), P O’Regan for D Buckley (55).
DROMINA: R Crowley; D O’Shaughnessy, J O’Connor, B Naughton; M Naughton (capt), K Hayes, B Bowles; D O’Carroll, G Hayes; P Hassett, J Delee, J Jordan; K O’Callaghan, A O’Shaughnessy, R Morrissey.
Subs: P Hayes for K O’Callaghan (ht), P Burke for P Hassett (41).
Referee: Mark Maher (St Finbarr’s).