Westmeath got their Christy Ring Cup defence off to a rip-roaring start at Cusack Park as they demolished Roscommon on a 3-23 to 0-13 score-line.
Still reeling from their Leinster championship exit at the hands of Dublin, Westmeath had this game in the bag by half-time as they turned around with a 3-13 to 0-03 advantage.
John Shaw and Shane Curley traded the game's opening points, with Curley hitting an excellent free from midfield for the Rossies.
But Westmeath were quickly into their stride and points from Shaw, Robbie Jackson and Darren McCormack gave them a healthy lead.
They tagged on a 14th-minute goal as Derek McNicholas managed to get in on the end of a long ball and slip it to the Roscommon net.
The injury-hit Rossies replied with two points from their hard-working midfielders Gerry Fallon and Mervyn Connaughton, but Westmeath were in free-scoring mode.
Jackson and Murtagh both added to their tallies before the Lake county grabbed two goals in the closing stages of the first half.
Paddy Dowdall was given acres of space to run through and ping home a low shot, and Shaw also bulged the net after being set up by Murtagh.
Shaw (1-05) and Murtagh (0-04) finished as the home side's top scorers, while Fallon, Connaughton and Curley (0-03 each) led the way for Roscommon, who were last year's Nicky Rackard Cup winners.
While Westmeath look the team to beat in Group 2A, Carlow ran out easy 2-24 to 1-09 winners over London in today's opening Group 2B game at Dr. Cullen Park.
Mark Brennan was arguably Carlow's best player on the day as he chipped in with five points - all of them coming from play.
Colin Hughes matched that tally but London will have been pleased with their first half display as they trailed by just 0-09 to 0-06 at the break.
However, the Barrowsiders picked up the intensity in the second half with Craig Doyle scoring two goals - Doyle's second coming six minutes from the end.
Although Mark Mythen responded with a goal for London, Jimmy Greene's charges had done enough to bag the points.
In Group 2C, Meath outlasted Mayo at Pairc Tailteann to record a 0-16 to 0-12 victory in their opening encounter.
The Royals just held the edge and had the game's key player in right half-forward Niall Hackett who finished with a 0-09 personal haul (including five placed balls).
Mayo trailed by 0-09 to 0-06 at the interval but even corner forward Adrian Freeman's seven-point contribution could not see them pinch the win.
Niall Murphy and Derek McConn also chipped in with some points for the visitors, but Meath doggedly held on with junior footballer Mickey Burke hitting two fine overs.
Kildare took the scalp of Derry in Group 2D's opening match at Newbridge this afternoon.
In manager Andy Comerford's first Ring Cup game, the Lilywhites claimed an impressive 2-28 to 1-12 victory.
A Tony Murphy goal helped them to an eight-point interval lead, while Sam Dodds netted for the Oak Leafers.
Michael Divilly kept up the host's momentum, with a goal early in the second half.
With nine players on the scoresheet, Kildare look set to have a major say in the destination of the Ring Cup this year.