Ritchie Ruth netted after two minutes and Conor Lanigan added a second in the 15th minute as Sars went 2-5 to 0-4 clear. A David Flynn goal in the 23rd minute gave Roscrea hope but Sars still led 2-12 to 1-5 at half-time. With Padraic Maher starring at centre halfback and Pa Bourke taking his points confidently, Sarsfields were full value for their win, even without county men Lar Corbett and Denis Maher.
North champions Kildangan swept Mullinahone, the South champions, aside with a powerful second half display. A Daragh Egan penalty goal and another from Paul Flynn saw Kildangan lead at half-time 2-7 to 1-8, Eoin Kelly getting the Mullinahone goal.
A Ruairi Gleeson goal put Kildangan in firm control and when Joe Gallagher added a fourth on 41 minutes, it was game over. Kildangan ran out 4-20 to 1-13 winners but had Fergal Hayes red-carded in the 47th minute.
Two minutes earlier, Eoin Kelly also got a red card for a careless tackle.
Drom-Inch, one of the championship favourites, suffered a setback when they were caught late by neighbours, JK Brackens who swooped for two injury-time points in a 2-12 each draw. A Seamus Callinan goal helped Drom to an interval lead of 1-6 to 0-8. David Butler added a second Drom goal in the second half but Brackens trailed by two points as the game went into injury time.
However, Dean McEnroe and Fairbrother levelled the game with excellent scores.
Eire Og, Nenagh played themselves back into the reckoning with a 1-27 to 2-13 win over Templederry, while Borrisoleigh also made amends for a poor showing last time out with a 1-15 to 0-11 win over Eire Og Anacarty.
Two goals just before half-time steered Ballingarry to a 2-14 to 1-10 victory over Silvermines. Ballingarry went in leading 2-8 to 0-5 at the break.
And, though Jason Forde had a Silvermines goal in the 45th minute, and they finished with a run of points, they never threatened to catch their rivals.
Upperchurch-Drombane played a thrilling draw with Killenaule, 1-17 to 0-20. The sides were level 0-9 each at half-time and though Bubbles O’Dwyer hit some fine points for Killenaule, a Colin Stapleton goal for Upperchurch in the 37th minute looked like being decisive until Thomas Keaveney popped up with a levelling point for Killenaule.
In other games played, Holycross defeated Moyne 1-14 to 0-7; Knockavilla Kickhams beat Borrisokane 0-19 to 3-15; Clonoulty-Rossmore had a 0-19 to 1-13 win over Lorrha; Carrick Swans edged out Moycarkey-Borris 1-19 to 1-18; Ballina beat Clonakenny 1-20 to 1-14; and Kilruane edged out Portroe by 0-18 to 2-12.