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Last year's All-Ireland finalists open 2017 with wins and they both mean business

It was a busy opening day in the Littlewoods Camogie League.

LAST YEAR’S DOUBLE champions Kilkenny started the year as they mean to go on earlier today, opening their Littlewoods Camogie League campaign with a comfortable win over Tipperary.

Kilkenny players celebrate at the final whistle Kilkenny began their quest to match last year's haul. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

The Premier county were first off the mark, and it was level-pegging for the first twenty minutes or so. Kilkenny then began to pull away, and a Jenny Clifford goal from play just before half-time had them five points up at the break.

Michelle Quilty hit another Kilkenny goal just after the restart, as Nicole Walsh’s efforts kept her side in touch. The Cats kept the scoreboard ticking, before Katie Power and Michelle Quilty both raised green flags, ending all Tipperary hopes of a comeback.

Meanwhile, Division 1 threw up another tasty fixture between Cork and Dublin. Last year’s All-Ireland finalists and camogie kingpins Cork returned to the field today bruised after last year’s Croke Park defeat.

Their first assignment was no easy task, in the form of David Herity’s rising Dublin side.

Tied three points-a-piece at half-time, the sides could hardly be separated. On the restart, Cork came out all guns blazing as they hit three consecutive points and an added time goal was enough to ensure an opening day victory for the side, lead by dual star Rena Buckley.

Littlewoods Ireland Camogie National Leagues Launch The Littlewoods Camogie Leagues were launched last week. Source: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

On the other side of Division 1, both Limerick and Galway took the points in their Group 2 clashes.

The Shannonsiders were too strong for Division 1 debutantes Meath, as they came out the better side of a 0-18 to 0-7 home victory. Limerick were physically stronger from the get-go, and raced to a seven-point lead by half-time.

Meath upped their game in the second half, but the closest they got to reducing the deficit was six points. Niamh Mulcahy struck ten points for the winners.

Whitehall Colmcille GAA played host to the Galway and Clare tie. The Banner started on the stronger foot, registering the first two scores of the match in the 9th and 17th minutes respectively.

Ailish O’Reilly and Aoife Donohue made up for Galway’s slow start, hitting eight points without a response from Clare as the score stood 0-8 to 0-2 at half-time. Galway doubled their tally within 22 minutes of the second half, while Clare struggled to keep up.

Ailish O'Reilly and Davina Tobin Ailish O'Reilly was impressive for Galway. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Galway proceeded to bestow more misery upon Clare hitting several further points, before putting the final thorn in their side with a goal just before the final whistle.

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Tomorrow brings the final Division 1 match of the weekend as Waterford face Wexford.

Meanwhile, there was just one fixture played in Division 2 with the other five being decided tomorrow. An All-Leinster clash between Westmeath and Kildare resulted in the Midlanders winning by six points.

Kildare were first out of the blocks, registering an unanswered four points in 17 minutes. Westmeath had reduced the margin to just one before the interval, a sign of what would follow.

They bagged a vital goal after the restart while the Lillywhites stayed in touch, but two late goals cemented an impressive comeback and sealed the win for Westmeath.

Division 3 saw Dublin and Roscommon go head-to-head, while Kerry and Tyrone play-off tomorrow.

A nail-biting first half saw Roscommon ahead by one after 30 minutes of play. The Dubs pulled away after the restart however, their second goal proving vital as the game finished 2-9 to 1-6.

Littlewoods Ireland Camogie National Leagues Launch Siobhan Flannery, Shelly Farrell, Sarah O'Donovan and Kelley Hopkins at the launch. Source: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Results – Saturday 18 February

Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues Division 1

  • Cork 1-7 Dublin 0-4
  • Kilkenny 4-13 Tipperary 0-8
  • Clare 0-7 Galway 1-21
  • Limerick 0-19 Meath 0-7

Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues Division 2

  • Kildare 0-9 Westmeath 3-6

Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues Division 3

  • Dublin 2-10 Roscommon 1-6

Fixtures – Sunday 19 February

Division 1

  • Waterford v Wexford

Division 2

  • Carlow v Derry
  • Kilkenny v Down
  • Wexford v Laois
  • Antrim v Armagh
  • Cork v Galway

Division 3

  • Kerry v Tyrone

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