Westmeath began their Division 2A campaign with a 2-17 to 0-15 defeat of London at Cusack Park.
Both sides were tied on three points apiece after ten minutes but the hosts took the game by the scruff of the neck thereafter. Allan Devine's confidently taken goal on 29 minutes eased Westmeath 1-10 to 0-4 ahead, and they tagged on two more scores to lead by 11 points at half-time.
The Exiles scored the first three points of the second half but once Niall Mitchell rattled home a second Westmeath goal the result was never in doubt.
London's Conor Kennedy saw red for a high challenge on Robbie Greville two minutes from the end to compound a bad day at the office for the visitors.
Mayo and Meath shared the spoils in Ballina, playing out a 0-17 to 0-17 draw. The Royal County held the upper hand for most of the afternoon, leading by three points heading for the last ten minutes.
But Mayo dug deep to reel them in and earn a point from a gritty encounter.
In Division 2B Kildare turned over Donegal 2-16 to 1-13 in Letterkenny.
Gavin Browne goaled for Donegal just five minutes in and though the Lilywhites' Kevin Kealy responded in kind, the hosts took a one-point lead into the break, 1-07 to 1-06.
Declan Coulter and Kealy fired over scores early in the second half for Donegal but Brian Byrne, Caolan Smith and Kevin Whelan (2) nudged Kildare ahead for the first time.
They would not relinquish the advantage, and Byrne hit the net again in added time to seal victory.
Derry dug out a 1-16 to 0-14 win against Down in Ballycran. Alan Grant's goal in the 58th minute gave the Oak Leafers crucial breathing space, pushing four points ahead, and they closed it out to start their league season on the right foot.
In Division 3A Roscommon romped to a 3-18 to 1-11 success in Louth. Gearoid Egan (2) and Conor Mulry goaled to ease the Rossies to an easy win.
Armagh were even more convincing at Monaghan. They crushed the Farney men 4-11 to 0-05, with Stevey Renaghan, Eoin McGuinness and Dylan McKenna (2) finding the net.
In Division 3B Cavan just had enough to edge past Leitrim 2-09 to 1-11 at Kingspan Breffni, while Sligo also won by the bare minimum - they beat Fermanagh 2-14 to 1-16 at Kent Park.