Holders St Loman's, Mullingar were defeated 1-13 to 0-13 by Tyrrellspass at Cusack Park on Sunday evening.
Tyrrellspass produced a gritty display to surprise Loman's, who never fully recovered following a costly opening-period lapse. During that burst Tyrrellspass reeled off 1-3 without reply including an expertly taken penalty from Ger Egan which yielded a goal. Jason O'Toole and David Whelan were prominent as Loman's tried to launch a comeback mission, but a well-organised Tyrrellspass side held on to record a hugely encouraging victory.
Dean Egerton struck for the only goal of the game as The Downs stunned Mullingar Shamrocks, prevailing on a 1-6 to 0-5 scoreline. In a hard-fought contest, The Downs led by 0-4 to 0-3 at the break and it was similarly tight and tense after the restart.
Last year's Intermediate champions Athlone marked their return to the senior ranks with a narrow 0-13 to 1-9 win over St Malachy's. Athlone finished strongly, clipping three late points to claim the spoils as St Malachy's were left reflecting on what might have been in Rochfortbridge on Sunday afternoon.
Ray and John Connellan were effective in attack for Athlone, contributing nine points between them, while John Egan, Stephen Ward, Jordan Marshment, and John Stapleton all struck scores too.
Caulry beat Coralstown/Kinnegad by 0-11 to 1-6, while Killucan registered a 2-11 to 2-10 triumph over Maryland.
Inspired by midfielder Aidan Browne, Garrycastle secured a 0-14 to 1-4 win over Castledaly at Cusack Park, Mullingar on Saturday. Browne was immense at centrefield for Garrycastle, who were solid defensively throughout.
A Paul Costello goal gave Castledaly some hope, but Garrycastle still departed at the break armed with a 0-8 to 1-3 advantage. Late on Conor Cosgrove kicked a couple of fine frees, while substitute Tom O'Halloran also impressed for Garrycastle, who closed out the game impressively.