New Antrim manager Kevin Ryan left Carlow in no doubt as to the challenge ahead after going down by double scores, 1-17 to 0-10, in the Walsh Cup opener at Dr Cullen Park.
In his first game at the Saffron helm, Ryan fielded an inexperienced side against his former charges who bossed the game from the throw-in and led early on by 0-8 to 0-2.
Antrim cut the gap to five points at the break and went in trailing 0-11 to 0-6, but in the second half it was all Carlow.
It took the Ulster side almost 25 minutes to register a score after the break.
Meanwhile, there were four Ulster sides in action in the Kehoe Cup with Derry producing a fine display against Trinity College Dublin in their debut in the competition.
Despite bossing the opening exchanges, Ger Rogan’s side only led by the minimum after 20 minutes when TCD bagged the game’s first goal.
The Oak Leafers held a 1-13 to 2-6 lead at the break, Ruairi Convery with the Derry major.
Substitute Diarmuid Shields added Derry’s second goal, with the free-taking of Paddy Henry ensuring a historic debut win for the Ulster side. Derry face GMIT in Sunday’s quarter-final.
Armagh also claimed a quarter-final place with a 2-18 to 1-10 win over St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra.
New manager David Kennedy will now lead his side against Meath on Sunday.
Down faced old foes Wicklow in what turned out to be a low-scoring encounter at Bray.
The Ardsmen trailed by two at the break, 0-9 to 0-7, and were unable to close the gap in the second half, losing by 1-15 to 0-15.
Queen’s made a bit of history by becoming the first Ulster university to compete in the Leinster pre-season competition when taking on Louth at Darver.
The students went down by two points, 1-13 to 2-8, and will now face the winner of Roscommon and Trinity in the Shield competition on February 3.