Limerick’s All-Ireland winner Cathal O’Neill started at midfield and added the penultimate score for the Limerick college.
Fitzgibbon Cup champions UL got the defence of their title off to an impressive start as they proved too strong for ATU Galway in Duggan Park on Thursday evening.
The Limerick University won out 2-23 to 2-10 against a dogged ATU Galway side who gave as good as they got in the first half.
The hosts struck 1-1 without reply in the first two minutes but slowly UL edged their way into the game and goals from Mikey Kiely and Mark Rodgers had them 2-10 to 2-6 ahead at the break.
Rodgers’ goal was the final score of the first half and finished a run of 2-2 without a response for the reigning champions as they cruised to victory in the second half.
Crecora Manister’s Cathal O’Neill started at midfield and added the penultimate score for UL with All-Ireland winning teammate Colin Coughlan making an appearance off the bench.
Rory Duff and Finn Hourigan were also among the UL substitutes.
The Limerick side will host neighbours TUS MidWest next Thursday evening in Castletroy where a win will be enough to secure safe passage to the knockout rounds. The game will mark the start of TUS’ campaign as they host ATU Galway the following weekend with two teams to progress from the group.
Elsewhere on Thursday night, UCC were made to work for a 1-18 to 0-19 win at home to outsiders Maynooth in Group C where Jack O’Connor got the all important goal. Maynooth leveled just on the stroke of full time but a pair of scores in injury time was enough for the Cork side. All-Ireland Intermediate winner Lochlann McHale was introduced late on for Maynooth while Jerome Boylan started for UCC.
On Wednesday evening, Mary I were held to a draw with SETU Carlow while last year’s finalists, the University of Galway overcame MTU Cork 2-21 to 2-16.
Mary I host DCU next Wednesday at 2pm where a win will be enough to see them into the quarter-finals.
Fitzgibbon Cup Round One Results
UL 2-23 : 2-10 ATU Galway (D)
UCC 1-18 : 0-19 Maynooth University (C)
University of Galway 2-21 : 2-16 MTU Cork (A)
Mary I 1-16 : 1-16 SETU Carlow (B)