An Rinn, Ballinacourty and Rathgormack all enjoyed wins on the opening weekend of the county senior football championship.
A late, late save from former Kerry goalkeeper Tomás Mac an tSaoir saw An Rinn beat Stradbally for the first time in thirteen years under the Saturday night lights at Fraher Field (2-7 to 2-5).
Stradbally kicked fourteen wides, including a missed penalty from Eoin O’Brien in the second half, and the Gaeltacht men capitalised. Full forward Ray Ó Ceallaigh belted home a goal on 42 minutes while the hard working Ferdia Ó hAodha got three points from play.
Michael O’Brien palmed to the net for Stradbally with thirteen minutes left as An Rinn survived a late onslaught. Mac an tSaoir denied Rory Fennell from close range two minutes into injury time.
Fennell was unmarkable in the first half. He had 1-1 to his name inside six minutes and took on the An Rinn defence at every opportunity. An Rinn got a stroke of luck on 13 minutes when a high delivery from Caolan Mac Craith was deflected into his own net by Stradbally full back Luke Casey.
In a repeat of last year's county final, 2022 runners-up Rathgormack got the better of The Nire 1-12 to 2-4. Jason Curry (1-1), Jason Gleeson (0-4) and Stephen Curry (0-3) stood out for Kenny Hassett's side.
Rathgormack raced eight points up after 27 minutes. Conor Murray picked out Stephen Curry with a pinpoint kick pass in the tenth minute. He laid the ball off to Jason Curry who slotted to the bottom corner of the net. Two Jason Gleeson points and one each from Adam Murray, Stephen Curry and Michael Curry left the green and red 1-5 to 0-0 ahead approaching half time.
It took the champions 32 minutes to get off the mark via a Shane O'Meara free after Rathgormack defender Mairtin Power was black carded. Off the next attack, Dylan Guiry traded passes with Ciaran Walsh and rippled the cobwebs. 1-5 to 1-1 at the break.
The Nire got back on level terms within six minutes of the restart when Aaron Ryan palmed home after Shane O'Meara kept the ball alive (1-5 to 2-2). Rathgormack responded with the next three points via Jason Gleeson, Stephen Curry and Conor Murray.
Conor Gleeson got one back for The Nire but Rathgormack looked sharper up front. Despite losing substitute Tom Walsh to a black card, white flags from Jason Gleeson, Billy Power, Jason Curry and Stephen Curry sealed victory.
A second half goal from Waterford hurler Conor Prunty helped Ballinacourty to a 1-8 to 0-5 win over fourteen man Kilrossanty on Sunday afternoon.
The number nine acted as a target man on the edge of the square as he scored 1-1 from play and supplied two assists. Michael O'Halloran also impressed for the winners with two points from play and two assists. Donie Fitzgerald converted three frees for Kilrossanty. Substitute Pa Whyte was dismissed on two yellow cards.