Darren Dennehy's goal mid-way through the second half handed Limerick the perfect start to the season as the Shannonsiders saw off Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds. 

During an entertaining opening half, it was the away side who threatened first. Former Sligo winger Daniel Kearns pulled Billy Dennehy's cross back into the path of Shane Duggan, who fired narrowly wide. 

Sligo gave debuts to four starters including former Liverpool striker Adam Morgan. The 23-year-old was just short of Rhys McCabe's ball to the back post on 19 minutes while Kearns forced a great one-handed save from Rovers goalkeeper Micheál Schlingermann mid-way through the half. 

Ali Roy, another Sligo debutant, looked lively on the left side for Ger Lyttle's charges. The Scot fired narrowly wide from Caolan McAleer's cross 25 minutes in.

The Hearts loanee was involved again before the break. His neat turn of pace, coupled with some trickery, saw him glide past his marker, but his shot sailed over Brendan Clarke's crossbar. 

Rovers finished the first 45 the stronger and their best chance of the half fell to Eduardo Pinceli. Another winter signing, the Brazilian's improvised header with his back to goal dribbled past the Limerick post from a whipped McCabe free-kick. 

McAleer should have put his new side into the lead just short of the hour. Pinceli's weighted ball to the back post found the former Finn Harps man but McAleer somehow managed to let the ball slide under his foot from point-blank range. 

Limerick, somewhat against the run of play, hit the lead on 63 as Dennehy rose highest to nod Duggan's cross past the flailing arms of Schlingermann. 

Sligo faded badly as they laboured for the remainder of the tie as Tommy Barrett's team continued to create.

Substitute Kilian Cantwell worried Schlingermann with an effort before the Mayo man denied Kearns once more with an acrobatic save seven minutes from time. 

Sligo Rovers: Micheál Schlingermann; Craig Roddan (Jack Keaney 82), Kyle Callan-McFadden, Seamus Sharkey, Gary Boylan; Caolan McAleer (Adam Wixted 65), Eduardo Pinceli, David Cawley, Rhys McCabe (Greg Moorhouse 75), Alistair Roy; Adam Morgan. 

Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Tony Whitehead, Darren Dennehy, Shane Tracy; Billy Dennehy, Shane Duggan, Cian Coleman, Eoin Wearen (Kilian Cantwell 68), Daniel Kearns (William Fitzgerald 91); Mark O'Sullivan (Danny Morrisey 86). 

Referee: Tomas Connolly