Life without Eamonn Ryan began with defeat for Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 holders Cork on Sunday.
The league and TG4 All-Ireland champions lost by 2-08 to 0-07 against visitors Mayo in Mallow, as Cora Staunton bagged 1-6 for the Westerners.
Staunton has committed to a 22nd consecutive season with Mayo and the gifted 34-year-old forward turned on the style to take advantage of a Cork side without the touchline services of new manager Ephie Fitzgerald, who was on duty as coach to the Waterford senior men’s footballers.
Frankie Honohan and Pat O’Leary took charge of team affairs for Cork but Staunton was the star turn as Mayo began the new campaign with an encouraging win.
The sides were tied at 0-02 apiece in the early exchanges before Cork’s Marie Ambrose was sin-binned for a challenge on Staunton, with a penalty awarded.
Cork goalkeeper Martina O’Brien tipped Staunton’s resultant effort over the bar but the Carnacon sharpshooter found the net later in the half as Mayo led by 1-5 to 0-03 at the break.
Staunton hit 1-04 of that first half tally and she added two further points in the second half as Mayo made the game safe, with Rachel Kearns scoring a second goal for the winners in the 41st minute.
The winning margin could have been even greater but for some poor Mayo shooting and a couple of brilliant O’Brien saves, as Cork got off to an underwhelming start.
Elsewhere in Division 1, last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists Dublin ran out comfortable 2-14 to 1-06 winners against Munster champions Kerry, who lost the services of ace forward Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh to injury.
Niamh McEvoy netted the first of her two goals at Parnell Park in the 18th minute to set Dublin on their way on an afternoon when Sinead Aherne returned to the starting line-up after a year out.
Dublin were coasting to a big half-time lead before Anna Galvin netted for the Kingdom to keep them in touch at the break, trailing by 1-03 to 1-08.
But McEvoy netted her second goal 12 minutes into the second half to put the end result beyond doubt.
The other Division 1 games between Monaghan-Armagh and Galway-Tyrone were postponed due to weather conditions.
In Division 2, there were mixed fortunes for the teams relegated from the top flight last year.
Laois went down 4-09 to 1-04 at home to Clare but Donegal claimed a 3-4 to 0-08 victory away to Westmeath.
Meath, who appointed Eoin Hennessy as their new manager during the week, began with a 2-12 to 1-09 victory over Sligo and Cavan put six goals past Kildare.
In Division 3, there were victories for Waterford, Roscommon and Wexford while in Division 4, Louth and Wicklow claimed maximum points from their outings against Derry and Antrim respectively.
Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1:
Cork 0-7 Mayo 2-08
Dublin 2-14 Kerry 1-06
Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 2:
Meath 2-12 Sligo 1-9
Westmeath 0-8 Donegal 3-4
Cavan 6-10 Kildare 1-10
Laois 1-4 Clare 4-9
Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 3:
Waterford 0-18 Tipperary 2-11
Roscommon 3-10 Offaly 4-05
Down 0-09 Wexford 1-07
Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 4:
Derry 1-7 Louth 8-18
Wicklow 1-15 Antrim 3-6