Compiled by Daragh Ó Conchúir
It wasn’t pretty but Galway got the defence of their Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League Division 1 title off to a winning start, coming out the right side of a 0-10 to 0-7 scoreline at TU Blanchardstown.
The All-Ireland champions looked rusty but credit must go to a Dublin side that was getting the season under way under new managers John Treacy and Willie Braine without a number of key players for a variety of reasons.
Scores proved hard to come by but the visitors led by three moving into the second quarter, points from Rebecca Hennelly (two), Caitriona Cormican and goalkeeper Sarah Healy from a long-distance free giving them the edge.
Dublin finished the half strongly though and a couple of points from Sinéad Wylde had them well in touch at the interval, trailing by 0-5 to 0-3.
The hosts got to within one of Galway twice in the second period but the experienced Maroons always put a little bit more daylight between the sides.
Martha Donoghue split the posts soon after the resumption and when Carrie Dolan and Niamh Kilkenny stretched the gap to three, Wylde and Kerrie Finnegan got it back to the minimum again with 40 minutes elapsed.
Healy landed her second monster point and Hennelly converted two frees for Cathal Murray’s contingent to take the verdict.
In the other Group 2 tie, Tipperary edged out Limerick by 0-10 to 1-6 at LIT Gaelic Grounds. It wasn’t looking great for Bill Mullaney’s crew as they only went in at the break level, 0-6 to 1-3 despite playing with the wind.
Joint captain Cáit Devane was magnificent, and she contributed five points, three of them from play as she carried on her form of recent years. Nicole Walsh hit the sixth for Tipp but a Rebecca Delee goal and three points from another joint skipper, Caoimhe Costelloe put the Shannonsiders in a strong position.
They couldn’t build on that good opening period however, although they did hit the front thanks to points from Neamh Curtin and Costelloe, her fifth, but Devane levelled from a free to bring her tally to six before Ciardha Maher shot what proved the winner.
In Group 1, Clare outscored Offaly 2-7 to 1-3 in Birr. The Bannerwomen responded to the concession of a goal to Mairéad Teehan with a major of their own as Áine O’Loughlin fed the impressive Eimear Kelly, who shook the rigging. Points from Robyn Conway and Kelly made it 1-5 to 1-3 at the change of ends.
An O’Loughlin goal mid-way through the second half was the key moment of the second half and Kelly added another brace to seal a vital win for Ger O’Connell’s team.
The other Group 1 tie was a Saturday game, in which Cork pulled clear in the second half to record a 1-18 to 0-12 triumph over Waterford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. A first-half goal from Saoirse McCarthy was the difference between the sides at half-time, when it was 1-10 to 0-8, though Orla Cronin and Beth Carton were in good scoring form for their respective sides
Ashling Thompson made a scoring return Cork, while Waterford, with Fintan O’Brien and Dan Shanahan at the helm, were without their Gailltír contingent ahead of their All-Ireland Final. Paudie Murray will have been pleased with how his squad saw the game out, Chloe Sigerson, Lauren Homan and Cronin raising white flags.Tweet