Clare edge past the Cats, Tribesmen far too strong for Dublin and Laois defeat neighbours Offaly
All-Ireland champions Clare got their league campaign off to the perfect start with a hard-earned victory over Kilkenny while Galway enjoyed a 13 point win over Dublin.
Davy Fitzgerald will be delighted to get off to a victory after suggesting earlier in the week that his side might struggle in the early part of the season, though they were made to work hard for the victory in Ennis.
After receiving the customary guard of honour as Laim McCarthy holders, the Banner men made the early running with Colin Ryan proving dangerous from both play and set-pieces before Brian Cody’s men worked their way into the game with scores from Walter Walsh and Henry Shefflin.
Ryan scored what would prove to be the only goal of the game and the second half was a nip-and-tuck affair with the Banner eventually prevailing by the minimum on a scoreline of 1-16 to 0-18.
In Salthill, Galway enjoyed a comfortable victory over 14-man Dublin to get their campaign off in style.
Anthony Cunningham’s side dominated from start to finish and lead at the break on a scoreline of 0-16 to 0-06 despite the Leinster champions fielding a strong starting XV.
Debutant Cathal Mannion caught the eye with four points, while Naill Healy hit five from play as Galway racked up 28 points against a lacklustre Dublin outfit who had Conal Keaney red carded for a second bookable offence.
In Division 1B Wexford were given a scare by Antrim, edging past the Saffrons by a single point after playing the entire second half with 14 men after Richie Kehoe was given his marching orders.
Laois hurlers recorded a famous victory over neighbours Offaly with a surprising two-point victory in Tullamore. It was their first victory over the Faithful County in the venue since 1960 and Seaus Plunkett's men held on despite late Offaly goals from Daniel Currams and Dermot Mooney.
There were wins for Kerry and Carlow in 2A, Mayo, Wicklow and Down in 2B, while Donegal, Longford and Roscommon took the spoils in 3A.
Galway 0-28 – Dublin 1-12
Clare 1-16 – Kilkenny 0-18
Wexford 0-15 – Antrim 1-11
Laois 1-19 – Offaly 2-14
Kerry 4-24 - Derry 3-9
Carlow 1-18 – Kildare 1-9
Westmeath 0-13 – London 0-13
Mayo 2-13 – Fingal 3-9
Wicklow 1-15 – Meath 0-8
Down 2-20 – Armagh 1-7
Donegal 2-19 – Fermanagh 1-13
Monaghan 2-13 – Longford 3-11
Roscommon 2-16 - Louth 1-15