Masters joined new manager Fitzgerald in Brosna for Cork’s visit to Kerry in round 2 of the Lidl Ladies National Football League but the holders slumped to a second successive defeat.
Munster rivals Kerry beat the champions 0-11 to 2-4 on home soil but there was good news for Cork as long-serving defenders Deirdre O’Reilly and Bríd Stack both made their first appearances of the season.
Kerry raced into a 0-6 to 0-0 lead but an Emma Farmer penalty hauled the Leesiders back into contention before half-time, as the Kingdom held a 0-8 to 1-2 interval lead.
Cork netted within 30 seconds of the restart, with Ciara O’Sullivan on target, before a Farmer point put Cork ahead for the first time in the game, with the score 2-3 to 0-8.
Neither side scored for the next 15 minutes before Annie Walsh increased Cork’s advantage but while it took Kerry over 20 minutes to trouble the scoreboard operator in the second half, they finished brilliantly to claim the win.
Aisling Leonard steamed forward for a point before Sarah Houlihan grabbed a late brace to edge it.
Elsewhere, Cora Staunton was at it again as Mayo claimed a second successive victory.
Staunton claimed 1-6 as Mayo beat Cork in their opening fixture and she collected 1-9 in yesterday’s victory over Dublin.
Staunton’s tally included four pointed frees as the Westerners beat the Sky Blues by 2-9 to 1-9 in Swinford.
Dublin did outscore Mayo by 2-3 to 1-3 in the second half but a strong first half display from the hosts gave them a matchwinning platform.
Not for the first time, Staunton was the star turn for Mayo, as Grace Kelly netted their other goal.
Sinead Aherne and Noelle Healy bagged second half goals for Dublin but Mayo held out.
Last year’s Division 1 runners-up Galway made a winning start as they saw off Monaghan by 3-13 to 2-9.
Tracey Leonard claimed the player of the match award after registering 2-6 for the Tribeswomen, with Megan Glynn also goaling for the hosts at Tuam Stadium.
Galway led by 1-12 to 2-6 at 1-6 at half-time and were off to the ideal start when Leonard found the back of the Monaghan net after14 seconds.
Aoife McAnespie and Sharon Courtney scored the Monaghan goals but new Galway boss Willie Ward celebrated his first victory at the helm.
In yesterday’s other top-flight game, it was a forgettable outing for a Tyrone side that will do well to avoid the drop.
Ulster rivals Armagh ran out 3-20 to 0-3 winners against the Red Hands in Killyclogher as Ronan Clarke’s charges dominated from start to finish.
Kelly Mallon and Lauren McConville hit 1-3 apiece for the Orchard County, with Aoife McCoy netting the other goal.
In Division 2, Westmeath, Donegal, Cavan and Clare all recorded victories as Waterford, Leitrim, Tipperary and Wexford claimed maximum points from their Division 3 outings.
In Division 4, Louth saw off Longford by three points as Wicklow had five points to spare over Limerick.