DUBLIN'S preparations for their upcoming Leinster MFC campaign continued with a facile 3-11 to 0-8 victory over a weakened Down in their opening round of the Ulster Minor Football League Section A encounter at Páirc Esler, Newry on Saturday.
The relative ease with which the Dubs accounted for the hosts can partially be explained by Down being without a strong contingent from St Colman's, Newry but there were some encouraging signs for Dublin's manager Val Andrews.
"We gave an average performance with some good things and some bad things but it would be foolish to read too much into any result at this time of year," he said.
"Down were seriously understrength and will be a different proposition come the championship."
The Dubs started well and registered 1-2 in the opening five minutes with Na Fianna's Adam Caffrey scoring the goal and impressing on the '40', scoring an additional four points over the hour.
A Niall O'Flynn goal later in the half helped the visitors to a deserved six-point (2-5 to 0-5) interval lead and the second half continued in a similar vein with Dublin dominating and a Ciarán Kilkenny goal and two points from Ballinteer St John's Fergal Duffy helped seal a comfortable 12-point win.
Andrews, though, was well aware that is was far from a complete performance. "The match today has given us plenty of food for thought and given how understrength Down were we really should have been far more clinical in putting them away," he added.
Dublin's league campaign continues next Saturday afternoon when they face Cavan in Breffni Park (12.0) and they will face Armagh, Monaghan and Meath on consecutive weekends prior to opening the defence of their Leinster crown against Kildare.
The Lilywhites pushed Dublin all the way last year and with as many as eight of last year's Kildare panel eligible again this year, Andrews will hope to see a marked improvement in the coming weeks prior to their difficult assignment in Newbridge on April 17.