The long-awaited championship season started with Derry one of the first Ulster teams in action.
They made the trip to Lannleire to face Munster side Limerick in the TG4 Junior Football Championship group stages, however it proved to be a very disappointing day for Paul Hassan and his Oak Leaf charges.
Battling hard in the first-half, they found themselves 1-7 to 0-3 down at the break and never recovered, getting on the wrong side of a heavy loss in the end, leaving qualification for the latter stages very much up in the air even at this stage of the competition.
The Derry girls were forced into late changes before the throw in; the experienced Emma Doherty drafted in to the middle of the park with Erin Doherty moving into corner forward. The inclusion of the experienced duo made an early impact for Derry but overall the Ulster side found the going difficult.
Limerick, who won the junior title in 2018, were relegated last year but Donal Ryan's side hit the ground running as Derry suffered a sixth loss on the bounce.
Emma Doherty hit their three first-half points from the dead ball although Derry lacked potency up front, while a driven Limerick inspired by the attacking quality of Roisin Ambrose and Amy Ryan turned up the second-half heat, adding three more goals to ease to a comfortable win.
Doherty finished the opener with three further points from frees with Ella Sainsbury on target from play as they lost 4-10 to 0-7, a bad day at the office for Derry in group B and, with Antrim up next, improvement is certainly needed. Fermanagh open their junior campaign against Wicklow on Saturday.
The senior championship starts on Friday with Tyrone set to face Armagh at Cavan.
The Orchard side thumped the Red Hands in their recent Ulster semi-final after a powerhouse first-half performance.
There are injury worries in both camps ahead of the televised tie with Tyrone skipper Neamh Woods , who is carrying a knock, the most worrying.
Elsewhere, Waterford and Tipperary took the spoils from the weekend's Liberty Insurance Senior Camogie Championship action.
The Déise got the better of Limerick by 2-15 to 0-9 at Walsh Park to set up a winner-takes-all clash away to Westmeath in a fortnight with a quarter-final berth the prize.
Tipperary made it two from two in Group 3 when accounting for Dublin 1-13 to 0-11 at Parnell's GAA,