The champions held off a brave second half rally from the Premier to secure a 1-16 to 0-15 win in the first round of the Gala All-Ireland senior championship.
Gemma O’Connor and Orla Cotter were amongst the stars for the champions who raced into a 0-9 to 0-4 interval lead. Maria Walsh’s goal three minutes after the resumption stretched their advantage to seven points.
Tipp rallied well after this setback though. Mary Ryan was defiant in defence and with Claire Grogan unerring from placed balls – she slotted five frees and a 45 in total to go with a good score from play – they dragged themselves back in contention.
Crucially though, O’Connor kept sniping the odd point to give her side breathing space, and she finished with a tally of five minors, four of which came from play.
The hosts gave everything they had in the dying minutes and Noreen Flanagan had a great opportunity of a goal but was fouled outside the square by Aoife Murray.
Last year’s runners-up Kilkenny, got their attempt to go one better off to a good start when they prevailed by 1-14 to 1-11 over
Ann Downey’s side led by 0-9 to 0-5 at half time, Michelle Quilty converting four frees and Denise Gaule hitting three of her four points from play but
Team captain, Aislinn Connolly, who top-scored for the Tribeswomen with seven points (six frees, 1 45), helped draw the sides level with a couple of good scores before Brenda Hanney struck for the goal but Kilkenny showed commendable character to fight back.
Ann Dalton slotted two points in response and Quilty set up Aoife Neary for a 48th minute goal to restore Kilkenny’s advantage.
In the third game, Clare came away from St Peregrine’s with a 2-10 to 0-9 win over
The home side tried hard and had one of the game’s most outstanding performers in midfielder Louise O’Hara, who shot four points from play and a couple more from frees.
Clare always had the superior attacking threat though and driven forward by centre-back Kate Lynch, they struck for their first goal in the 21st minute, Claire McMahon finishing well to help her side lead at the break by 1-6 to 0-4.
When the ever-threatening Norah Murphy slammed the sliotar to the