PJ O'Mullan's stint as Antrim hurling manager got off to a losing start as the Saffrons were edged out 3-17 to 1-19 by Laois in the Walsh Cup.
Liam Watson made his first Antrim start since 2012 while CJ McGourty also featured for the Saffrons.
Goals from Tadhg Dowling and PJ Scully helped Laois lead 2-11 to 0-12 at half-time at Heywood Community School.
A Conor Johnston goal cut Laois's lead to one but a Ben Conroy three-pointer helped the home side clinch victory.
Johnston hit 1-4 for the Saffrons with Niall McKenna and Kevin McKernan also among the Antrim scorers.
There were goals aplenty in the McGurk Cup as Derry got off to a winning start, with a 6-21 to 2-19 win over Donegal.
Derry led by 4-9 to 2-11 at half-time and they went on to clinch a 14-point win.
Ruairi Convery (two), Mickey Conway, Deaglan Foley, Shane Farren and Sean Francis Quinn registered the Derry goals.