Jake Dillon shot nine points as they stayed in the hunt for a quarter-final berth, with a 0-17 to 1-12 victory.
A dominant second quarter allowed Salle establish a 0-11 to 0-3 half-time advantage.
Dillon led the way with six points of that total. Stephen Power supplied three frees for Ballygunner.
De La Salle moved nine points away on the resumption but the champions came storming back into contention. Six singles by Stephen Power shaved the deficit to three on 57 minutes (0-15 to 0-12).
Stephen O’Keeffe also produced a jaw-dropping save to flick Paidi Nevin’s drive over the bar.
Adam Farrell appeared to ease the pressure on Ray Murphy’s team with a fine point from the wing. The Gunners replied immediately as JJ Hutchinson blasted to the net with one minute of normal time remaining.
Dillon stepped up and landed a free to put Salle two clear but they endured a nervy finale. Conor Power and David O’Sullivan were both denied at the death as the ball whizzed around the goalmouth and the victors released a huge sigh of relief at the full time whistle.
Fourmilewater also got off the mark as they enjoyed a 1-16 to 0-12 success against Ballyduff Upper in the Fraher Field sunshine.
A slick first-half showing overwhelmed their opponents as six different scorers obliged.
In the fifth minute, Seamus Lawlor’s high delivery wasn’t properly dealt with by Ballyduff number one David Walsh and James McGrath was lurking to force the sliotar home.
Four dead balls by Jamie Barron along with braces for Conor Gleeson and Dylan Guiry helped them into a 12-point lead after 20 minutes.
Kevin Casey and Michael Kearney pegged points back before the break for Ballyduff as they trailed by 1-10 to 0-4.
Ballyduff hinted at a comeback at the beginning of the second half as the lively Kevin Casey hit his third from open play and Kearney added two frees. Jamie Barron responded with Fourmile’s first point for 19 minutes.
The Reds continued to rally and two long-distance screamers courtesy of Jamie and Shane Kearney reduced the damage to six points (1-12 to 0-9) on 42 minutes.
Benji Whelan’s side knuckled down again however and a swift Diarmuid Wall double followed by another white flag from Shane Walsh clinched it. Winless Ballyduff now face a battle to avoid the drop.
A hungry Tallow outfit maintained their unbeaten start with a 2-13 to 1-11 win over Abbeyside at the Lismore grounds.
Thomas Ryan spearheaded the charge for Terence McSweeney’s men as the former Waterford forward tallied a sublime personal total of 2-8.
Ryan’s opening green flag after 90 seconds propelled the Bridesiders into a 1-8 to 0-6 interval lead. He added goal number two 20 seconds after the restart to give them breathing space.
Mark Ferncombe netted a consolation strike in stoppage time for Abbeyside as they suffered their first loss of the championship.