DJ Carey’s 14-man IT Carlow laid down an impressive Fitzgibbon Cup marker in taking the scalp of defending Fitzgibbon Cup champions Mary Immaculate, winning 1-22 to 0-22 in a thriller at Heywood Community College in Co Laois.
Mary I started with the wind and with Limerick senior players Cian Lynch and Aaron Gillane prominent they led 0-11 to 0-6 after 20 minutes on the astroturf surface.
Kilkenny senior panellist Ritchie Leahy then crashed home a goal for Carlow and it was 0-14 to 1-10 at the break.
IT Carlow lost corner-forward Mark Russell to a straight red card for a striking offence in the early minutes of the second half.
But with their defence holding firm for the remainder, they benefited from the magnificent long-range free-taking of Laois goalkeeper Enda Rowland to see out a deserved victory.
It was all too easy for UL in their Group B tie, they defeated DIT by 3-29 to 4-17 at the campus’ all-weather pitch.
Tipp’s Jason Forde was UL’s chief marksman with 1-10, while intercounty colleague John McGrath added 1-1.
NUIG kickstarted their Group D campaign with a comfortable 2-22 to 0-13 victory over Trinity College at Abbotstown.
The Tribesmen enjoyed a dream start as corner-forward John Fox found the back of the Trinity net after just 18 seconds.
A second goal followed from centre-forward Darragh Burke (who scored 1-10), and although the dead-ball accuracy of Fionn Ó Riain Broin kept the Dublin college in touch, the westerners held a 2-10 to 0-11 cushion at the interval.
Eight unanswered points after the restart placed the visitors into an unassailable lead, as county stars Padraic and Cathal Mannion began to exert their influence.