The Limerick and Munster champions were made work all the way for a 2-14 to 1-13 win over Ahane in Caherconlish.
Ger O’Loughlin’s champions had a goal in either half from captain Graeme Mulcahy to ensure a winning start to their title defence. Ahane led 0-7 to 0-3 after 20 minutes but it was level at half time 1-5 to 0-8 with free-takers Eoin Ryan and John Meskell leading the way.
Mulcahy’s second goal came just after half time and midway through the second period Kilmallock were 2-11 to 0-10 clear.
Ahane goaled in the final minutes from a Meskell penalty.
2013 champions Na Piarsaigh were 3-13 to 2-14 winners over Doon in Kilmallock.
Doon had an early Mike Fitzgerald goal but David Breen cancelled that out and Na Piarsaigh led 1-9 to 1-4 at the interval.
Breen and David Sheppard added further Na Piarsaigh goals for a 3-13 to 1-13 lead until Darragh O’Donovan goaled with a late free.
Adare needed a late point from John Fitzgibbon to snatch a 0-14 each draw with Ballybrown in Askeaton. Leading by nine points from free-taker Alan O’Connor, Ballybrown were 0-10 to 0-4 up at half time.
But with Willie Griffin accounting for 0-6, Adare battled back to secure a share of the spoils.
A late Brian Ryan point saw South Liberties beat Murroe-Boher in Cappamore, 2-12 to 1-14.
Liberties were 2-6 to 1-8 up at half time with Ryan netting both goals. Mikey Ryan had the Murroe-Boher goal.
Newcomers Bruff and Croom met in Kilmallock - with Bruff winning 1-13 to 1-10. The victors were 1-7 to 1-5 up at half time with John Cooke getting their goal and Peter Lawlor striking for Croom.
On Sunday evening Patrickswell brought the curtain down on round one with a big 3-24 to 1-7 win over Effin in Bruff. At half time the winners were only 1-9 to 1-2 ahead. A Kevin O’Brien hat-trick of goals stood out for the winners. The Effin goal came from a Thomas Quaid free.