Reigning All-Ireland camogie champions Cork overcame a dogged Tipperary in their Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League division 1 class at The Ragg, finally winning by a three-point margin, 0-10 to 0-7.
Though Tipperary’s Niamh Treacy capitalised on a loose clearance to give her side an early advantage, Cork’s All-Ireland Final heroine of last season, Orla Cotter, scored the first of her six points to level the score, before Linda Collins moved the Rebels in front.
Tipperary, who reached the last four in last year’s championship, held their own in the physical exchanges with Cáit Devane accurate from placed balls, as the Premier County held a slender one-point advantage at the interval, 0-5 to 0-4.
Goalkeeper Caoimhe Burke gave a reassuring performance under the high ball throughout the game, and denied Linda Collins a goal with an excellent intervention.
With the sides level at 0-6 apiece entering the final quarter, Cotter and Treacy provided the pick of the scores from play. With the Rebels scoring four points in the latter period of the game, it showed once again why Cork are such a difficult side to defeat. Cotter set up Libby Coppinger for a score and then slotted a close-in free, before Chloe Sigerson and Orla Cronin sealed the verdict.
Kilkenny began their campaign for a fourth consecutive league title with a promising start, defeating a youthful Clare team on a 1-9 to 0-7 scoreline.
Denise Gaule, Michelle Quilty and the impressive Danielle Morrissey had the Black and Amber on the front foot early doors and even though Róisín Begley and Amy Keating settled Clare nerves, a Gaule goal from a penalty just before the change of ends left it 1-6 to 0-3.
The Banner restricted Ann Downey’s charges to just three points after the resumption, the scores coming from Player of the Year Anne Dalton, Gaule and Morrissey, while Clare’s Amy Keating was the main beneficiary of her teammates endeavours as she converted four frees.
Waterford’s Beth Carton scored nine points as Donal O’Rourke’s side survived a Wexford third-quarter comeback to prevail by 1-13 to 1-5 at St Patrick’s Park, Enniscorthy.
Five of Carton’s scores came in the first half, while debutant Sarah Lacey showed well at corner-forward and finished with two points by the end of proceedings. Skipper Niamh Rockett struck for a goal just before the break, by which time the scoreboard read 1-7 to 0-3.
Anais Curran’s goal brought Wexford within two points of the Déise with 20 minutes left on the clock. Unfortunately for them that was to be their final score as the impressive Carton pushed Waterford clear to eventually win by eight points.
Caoimhe Costelloe starred for Limerick with two late points and nine in total on the day as the Shannonsiders left St Rynagh’s, Banagher, with a 1-12 to 0-13 victory.
The Treaty County settled into the game very quickly and five Costelloe points, along with Róisín Ambrose’s goal, put six points between the sides. Mairéad Teehan, who had two of her seven points by that stage, pointed from four frees, leaving just a solitary point between the sides at the interval, 1-6 to 0-8.
Though Arlene Watkins and Teehan gave Offaly the lead early in the second half, the result was on a knife edge until Costelloe’s two late points settled matters.