Cork maintained what has been an impressive defence to date of their Irish Daily Star Camogie Division 1 league title with a 1-10 to 1-8 victory over Kilkenny at Nowlan Park.
It was a first defeat of the campaign for the progressive Noresiders but Cork always looked the likeliest winners. They held the minimum advantage at the break, 1-4 to 1-3, thanks to a 21st minute goal from Briege Corkery in response to Aoife Neary’s seventh minute major.
They were level at 1-5 apiece ten minutes into the second half but five consecutive points secured the win for Cork. Jenny O’Leary produced the first two and Corkery followed up before half-time substitute Julie Mulcahy made it safe with a brace.
Ann Dalton (45), Edwina Keane and Katie Power reduced the margin for the hosts but it wasn’t enough to overcome the efficient Leesiders.
In the other Group 1 game, Offaly kept their hopes of making the semi-finals alive with their first win of the campaign against Tipperary, who suffered their fourth loss.
Elaine Dermody converted nine frees in a commanding effort that saw the Faithful girls lead by 3-6 to 0-5 at half time. Arlene Watkins scored two of the goals with Tina Hannon bagging the other.
Despite having the Banagher wind, the home side struggled to find their radar in the second half and when Noelle Flanagan goaled to reduce the margin to seven, Tipperary were well in contention.
Triona Mcdonald continued to drive Offaly on from centre-back and Orlagh Kirwan’s goal finalised the 4-10 to 1-6 victory.
There was plenty for Martin Lynch to be happy about as Wexford carved out a 1-10 to 0-9 win over Clare at Wexford Park.
Mary Leacy, Ursula Jacob and Katrina Parrock made their first appearances of the year in the county colours, while newcomers Louise Hamill (midfield) and Ciara Donohue (wing-back) were very impressive as the Bannerwomen lost their 100% record.
Jacob carried on where she left off in the All-Ireland final, scoring all of her side’s points. Six of them came from play in a wonderful display.
Claire McMahon (0-4) and Naomi Carroll (0-2) made significant contributions as Clare remained in contention right to the end but ultimately, Jacob’s stunning effort, allied with Parrock’s eighth minute goal, ensured the Yellowbellies’ success.
Galway got their first win of the league after of a hard-fought battle with Dublin at O’Toole Park.
Galway made more of the diagonal wind than their opponents, leading 1-8 to 0-5 at the interval.
Ali Maguire registered all of Dublin’s scores from frees but Ailish O’Reilly’s sixth minute goal had Galway in a strong position.
With Clodagh McGrath and Niamh Kilkenny dominant and Rebecca Hennelly amongst the points, the Tribeswomen were full value for their advantage at the change of ends.
They only managed two points after the resumption but Ann Marie Hayes’ 40th minute goal ensured that they always had enough in hand.
Dublin kept battling away, with Caitriona Power and Grainne Quinn standing up well to the pressure in the full-back line.
Aoife Kelly got their only point from play to go with another Maguire free and Sarah Ryan scrambled a goal with ten minutes remaining but Dublin never looked like overturning the deficit and it finished 2-10 to 1-7 in the visitors’ favour.