DCU sounded an early warning to all other O'Byrne Cup and Sigerson contenders with a convincing 0-18 to 1-14 defeat of Wicklow in Baltinglass.
Despite not fielding the considerable talents of the likes of Donie Shine and Michael Murphy, the Northside college could rely on the boot of Dublin prospect, Dean Rock (son of '80s star Barney), who pointed nine times in total and thrice from play.
His All-Ireland winning U21 captain of 2010, Johnny Cooper, also pitched in with three points for a DCU outfit which included All-Ireland winners, Philly McMahon, James McCarthy and Eoghan O'Gara along with St Sylvester's starlet, Gary Sweeney.
AN unfamiliar-looking Meath forward line scored 1-13 in Navan against Wexford's 1-10 as Seamus McEnaney's men made a winning start to the year.
Shorn of the attacking riches of the likes of Joe Sheridan, Cian Ward, Stephen Bray and Shane O'Rourke, the relatively unheralded Tom Walsh made an early statement of intent by scoring 1-3 from play for the home side, while the more established Graham Reilly hit five points, including four frees. The result sets up an early-season renewal of Meath's rivalry with Louth next Sunday back in Navan.
UCD set up a quarter-final clash with All-Ireland champions Dublin with victory over Laois in Crettyard thanks largely to a significant contribution from one of the home team's own.
Donie Kingston, who has decided not to play for his county in 2012, kicked 0-6 (3f) as the Belfield side overcame a single-point half-time deficit to eventually win by 0-15 to 0-11.
GERRY COONEY'S reign as Offaly football manager got off to a winning start ... even if he wasn't around to see it himself. The Meath man was en route to Namibia for a charity trip when Ken Casey scored each of his two goal to add to Alan Mulhall's strike as Offaly wracked up the unseasonally large tally of 3-6 to Westmeath's 0-7.
Muhall - formerly Offaly's first choice goalkeeper - kicked 1-2 (0-1f) in an experiment which can been deemed unqualified success against an albeit below strength Lakeland outfit (deprived of their Garrycastle men).
ATHLONE IT came within a whisker of their first ever win in the O'Byrne Cup before succumbing to Longford's late surge and a 0-13 to 1-9 defeat in Ballymahon. Offaly senior, Anton Sullivan, did most of the scoring for Athlone, IT bagging five point in total. Although his scoring feats were matched by Longford native, Francis McGee, who also kicked the game's winner.