All-Ireland champions Galway’s 2014 Liberty Insurance senior camogie championship campaign got off to a poor start with old rivals Wexford inflicting a 2-12 to 1-11 defeat in a pulsating encounter at Kenny Park, Athenry.
Wexford led at the end of a lively first half thanks to the superiority of Shelly Kehoe and Josie Dwyer at midfield, and Ursula Jacob’s scoring prowess.
They could also thank goalkeeper Mags D’Arcy, who deflected Niamh McGrath’s penalty over the crossbar.
Helena Jacob’s side flew out of the traps in the second half with points from Dwyer and Jacob followed by a Fiona Rochford goal.
Galway showed their mettle when a pass from Brenda Hanney was finished to the net by Orlaith McGrath and Aislinn Connolly levelled soon after.
Hanney was denied a goal by another brilliant save by D’Arcy before Kate Kelly’s injury time effort flew all the way to Galway net and Jacob pointed to secure the win.
Clare put their disappointing league final effort behind them with a 3-11 to 1-08 win over Derry at Celtic Park – the same score as when the teams met last year.
The hosts began well and their captain Meabh McGoldrick had two points on the board when Deirdre Murphy goaled. They steadied the ship once more but were rocked back on their heels by Fiona Lafferty’s goal. And when Lisa Loughnane gathered possession from Murphy’s sideline and rifled a shot to the net, it was 3-05 to 0-04.
It was 3-07 to 0-07 at half time while Derry were excellent in the second half but failed to capitalise on their possession, with the notable exception of Karen Kielt. The centre-forward did scramble a 43rd-minute goal but Clare were always comfortable.
It was very easy for Cork at O’Toole Park against a Dublin side, who despite two early points from Ali and Miriam Twomey, were never in contention as they lost by 4-24 to 0-05.
Paudie Murray’s girls were magnificent, with Jenny O’Leary helping herself to 2-09.
Orla Cotter (1-06) and Katrina Mackey (1-04) were the other beneficiaries of the midfield dominance of Joanne Casey and Ashling Thompson.