Jessica Gill, once again, started the new season where she let off last September, her return of 1-8 proving to be the big difference. A few familiar faces were back for the Maroon and White, so no doubt about it, Therese Maher was happy with the victory.
“”I suppose many outsiders would see this as a big match for Galway because we were playing Cork, but for us it was just another game. Any day you go out and meet Cork you want to beat them of course. But, our main aim was to get the league off to a winning start and we are glad to have done so. We are realistic and know what is ahead, but it is good for the new girls to get off on a positive note.””
Galway boss Liam Donoghue included Aisling Connolly, Brenda Hanney, Lourda Kavanagh and Clodagh Glynn in his line up to the exclusion of the retired Veronica Curtin, Sarah Noone, Molly Dunne who is injured and Brenda Kerins from the team that lost to the Rebels last autumn. Another alteration saw regular wing back Niamh Kilkenny move to corner forward where she joined her sister Orla who was lining out in the other corner.
After playing with the breeze the Maroon and White turned over 1-6 to 0-2 in front – Gill blasting a fifth minute free to the net to give her side an early cushion.
Cork were in experimental mode too with new captain Amanda O’Regan leading out her charges. Five points between Gemma O’Connor and Orla Cotter provided the bulk of the visitor’s return.
Elsewhere, title holders Kilkenny made an impressive start, putting Dublin to the sword, 4-14 to 1-5, in Kilmanagh. Katie Power and Marie Dargan bagged a pair of goals each, while the Dublin green flag came from Joelenne Hoary.
With Sinead Millea and Brigid Mullaly after calling it a day, Ann Dalton, Catherine Doherty and Leann Fennelly were strong in the heart of the Kilkenny rearguard.
Meanwhile, there was further good news for Kilkenny with St Brigid’s Callan defeating Christ King Cork, 6-6 to 2-6, in their replayed All Ireland senior A College’s semi-final at Castle Grounds, Cork. Shelley Farrell showed the way with 3-3 – all from play. They meet Portumna CC of Galway in the final on March 14.