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First blood to Galway as league winners leave it late to see off Cork

The All Ireland champions begin their defence with a defeat , while there were victories for Limerick and Kilkenny.

Niamh McGrath and Shauna Healy celebrate after the game.
Niamh McGrath and Shauna Healy celebrate after the game.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Updated at 18.25

Galway 1-11

Cork 0-12

GALWAY SCORED THE last four points to edge out Cork in the first round Group 1 game of the Liberty Assurance All-Ireland senior camogie championship at Tullamore.

The game was played as a curtain-raiser to the Leinster SHC semi-final between Galway and Laois, and the Tribeswomen had a vocal support as a result.

They left it very late though as a combination of wasteful shooting with the wind, Cork’s effective defensive format and the manner in which Ashling Thompson and Rena Buckley dominated around the middle looked like giving the All-Ireland champions revenge for their League final defeat.

Cork started a little nervously and conceded a ninth minute goal to Molly Dunne, as the full-forward flicked brilliantly to the net while kneeling on the deck.

Veteran netminder, Aoife Murray had already made a brilliant save from Jessica Gill by then but from that juncture, Cork squeezed the life out of the Galway attack, with Niamh McGrath’s 24th minute point their first from play.

By contrast, Cork were finding it a little easier to find the target although the wind advantage helped in that regard.

Aoife Donohue and Ashling Thompson Aoife Donohue and Ashling Thompson battling for possession. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Orla Cronin, inspirational skipper Ashling Thompson, Briege Corkery and Katriona Mackey raised white flags from open play and with Orla Cotter as reliable as ever from placed balls, Paudie Murray’s charges were level at the break, 0-8 to 1-5.

Cork would have been ahead but for a couple of blinding saves by Susan Earner – one to deny Amy O’Connor what would have been a goal-of-the-season contender – but it looked as if they might take the honours as O’Connor, Cotter, Cronin and Thompson edged them ahead.

Cork didn’t score for the last 13 minutes though. Niamh McGrath slotted two frees before Niamh Kilkenny brought the teams level with a super point over her shoulder to edge Galway ahead.

McGrath slotted a point in the third minute of injury time and time ran out on Cork as they chased a match-winning goal.

Scorers for Galway: Niamh McGrath 0-8(7fs, 1 45); Molly Dunne 1-0; Jessica Gill 0-2; Niamh Kilkenny 0-1.

Scorers for Cork: Orla Cotter 0-4(fs); Orla Cronin 0-3; Ashling Thompson 0-2; Katriona Mackey, Amy O’Connor, Briege Corkery 0-1 each

Heather Cooney and Shauna Healy celebrate Heather Cooney and Shauna Healy were suitably delighted at full-time. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Cork

1. Aoife Murray

2. Pamela Mackey
3. Laura Treacy
4. Leanne O’Sullivan

25. Jennifer Hosford
6. Gemma O’Connor
7. Méabh Cahalane

8. Rena Buckley
9. Ashling Thompson

10. Orla Cotter
11. Orla Cronin
12. Hannah Looney

13. Briege Corkery
14. Amy O’Connor
15. Ailish O’Reilly

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Subs

17. Sinéad Cahalan for Kenny (40)
19. Clodagh McGrath for Kilkelly (55)
21. Catherine Finnerty for Dunne (56)

Galway

1. Susan Earner

2. Tara Kenny
3. Sarah Dervan
4. Heather Cooney

5. Siobhán Coen
6. Shauna Healy
7. Lorraine Ryan

8. Niamh Kilkenny
9. Emma Kilkelly

10. Aoife Donohue
11. Niamh McGrath
12. Ann-Marie Starr

13. Jessica Gill
14. Molly Dunne
15. Ailish O’Reilly

Referee: Ray Kelly (Kildare)

Aoife Sheehan Limerick's Aoife Sheehan. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Limerick 1-12

Offaly 1-8

Limerick marked their return to the senior championship with a 1-12 to 1-8 win over Offaly in Newcastle West. The visitors had the better of the opening half however, and a one-point lead was scant reflection of their superiority.

Joe Quaid introduced Caoimhe Costelloe and she had a big impact, while Aoife Sheehan was also prominent. Niamh Mulcahy was deadly accurate from placed balls, scoring all bar one point of Limerick’s total, and when her free from 80m dropped into the Offaly net, Limerick went five clear.

A Costelloe point made it six but Arlene Watkins responded with a spectacular goal to leave them with an edgy conclusion before Limerick saw it out.

Scorers for Limerick: N Mulcahy 1-11 1-8(fs); C Costelloe 0-1

Scorers for Offaly: S Flannery 0-4(fs); A Watkins 1-0; T Hannon 0-2; C Fitzgerald 0-1; N Larkin 0-1

Denise Gaule Kilkenny's Denise Gaule scored 1-7 from frees.

Kilkenny 3-13

Dublin 1-10

Kilkenny got their Group 2 campaign off to a good start with a 3-13 to 1-10 win over Dublin at Parnell Park.

Denise Gaule, Katie Farrell and Michelle Quilty helped the Noresiders push ahead before Ali Maguire opened the scoring for Dublin. Gaule, who scored 1-7 from frees, got her goal when an 80m free went all the way to the Dublin net and as Colette Dormer denied Louise O’Hara at the other end, it was 1-6 to 0-4 at the change of ends.

Quilty latched onto a breaking ball to goal after a Gaule free was saved soon after the resumption and though Siobhan Kehoe blasted to the net after gaining possession 50m out and cutting through the Kilkenny defence, Miriam Walsh hand-passed to the Dublin net in the 40th minute and held the upper hand from there to the end.

Scorers for Kilkenny: A Farrell 0-2; D Gaule 1-7(fs); M Quilty, M Walsh 1-1 each, A Gannon, K Power 0-1 each

Scorers for Dublin: A Maguire 0-5 4(fs); A Maher 0-1(fs); S Kehoe 1-2; A Maher 0-2(fs)

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About the author:

Daragh Ó Conchúir

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