Kilkenny maintained their 100% start to the Liberty Insurance senior camogie championship, and inflicted a first defeat on Clare in the process, as the teams served up a thrilling tie at Nowlan Park writes Daragh Ó Conchúir. The Norsesiders finished strongly to grab the spoils 1-10 to 0-11 after Clare had looked to have made a significant move entering the final quarter.
Apart from a brief period, there was never too much between the teams, with Katie Power’s opener for the hosts being swiftly responded to by Claire McMahon from a free. Kilkenny were already two points clear when Denise Gaule pounced for a 14th minute goal but John Carmody’s outfit responded well with four consecutive points from McMahon (two frees), Morey (free) and Naomi Carroll to leave them trailing by the minimum at half time, 1-4 to 0-6.
Morey brought the sides level early in the second half from another long range free and it was nip-and-tuck from there to the end.
Clare actually hit the front thanks to scores from the excellent Deirdre Murphy and McMahon but Kilkenny found another level when needed, points from Power, Michelle Quilty (free) and Ann Dalton snatching the honours.
The victory was founded on stout defence that kept Clare to just three points from play. Jacqui Frisby was central to that and with Power very lively at the other end of the field, Kilkenny’s win was just about merited, despite the efforts of the outstanding Morey and McMahon.
After a far-from-ideal build-up, with JJ Doyle replacing Martin Lynch as manager just two weeks ago, Wexford must have been relieved to get their four-in-a-row bid under way at Crumlin’s O’Toole Park. While they were far from fluid, the champions had enough in hand over senior championship newcomers Derry to win 2-12 to 1-5.
They led by six points at half time having gotten off to an encouraging start with three points from Ursula Jacob and a third minute goal by Brid Gordon. Karen Kielt and Gráinne McGoldrick steadied the nerves for the Ulster side but points from Kate Kelly, Katrina Parrock and Jacob left it 1-7 to 0-4 at the change of ends.
Bridget Curran and Kielt exchanged scores early in the latter period but Parrock’s 40th minute goal gave Doyle’s crew some vital breathing space. They were glad of it when Katie McAnenly breached their defences with 10 minutes remaining but they still had enough in hand to coast home.