Joe Canning once again led the way with a haul of 2-6 – he got a goal in each half – as the champions secured their second win in Group D of the competition and end the stern Beagh challenge.
Elsewhere in Group D of the championship, Killimordaly pulled off the surprise of the weekend when they managed to defeat hot-favourites Kinvara by 1-9 to 0-11 in Athenry. A John McDonagh goal before the break was crucial as the victors secured their first win of the season, while 0-6 from Niall Earls also helped their cause.
In Group A last year’s runners-up Loughrea suffered their first defeat of the competition as Kiltormer inflicted a 3-11 to 1-15 defeat on one of the favourites to end Portumna’s reign.
Two goals from Brendan Kenny and another from Conor Ryan proved the difference between the sides, while points from Keith Kilkenny gave Kiltormer their first win of the championship.
Gort moved top of Group B after claiming a 1-16 to 1-10 victory over Tommy Larkins in Athenry on Saturday. Six points from Galway newcomer Aidan Harte, five more from Gerry Quinn and a Paul Killilea goal midway through second half gave Gort their second win of the year.
In the other Group B clash a David Burke goal in the second half was critical for St Thomas as they managed to fend off a late rally from Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry to secure a 1-14 to 0-12 win, their first of the competition.
Sarsfields continued to impress in Group A as they took their second win from Craughwell on a 0-14 to 0-10 scoreline. A late rush from Craughwell, led by Niall Healy looked likely to have forced a draw, but Kerril Wade’s sharp-shooting pulled Sarsfields clear to claim the two points.
Mullagh added to last week’s draw with Liam Mellows with a convincing 1-17 to 1-8 win over Castlegar in Loughrea. Twelve points from Niall Cahalan and a goal from Cathal Dervan from a free mean Mullagh remain unbeaten. A late Brian Connolly goal was mere consolation for Cashel as 1-6 without reply from last year’s semi-finalists moved them top of the group.