By C¾ilÝn Duffy
All-Ireland Senior Camogie champions Wexford got off to a winning start in Division 1 of the National League on Sunday thanks to superb displays from Kate Kelly and Ursula Jacob ensuring a 1-14 to 2-8 win over Cork at Cloughduv.
Before the match the Cork players held a guard of honour for the Wexford side, but the formalities were left off the pitch, as in a keenly contested encounter, the visitors had just about done enough to hold on for a win.
Wexford led by 0-7 to 0-4 at half-time, during a thrilling encounter with no quarter asked or given with an excellent display by both sides, but Stellah Sinnott’s charges held enough in resolve to hold on for a hard earned three points win.
Wexford looked confident throughout this contest taking just three scores from placed balls, with Cork hitting five points from frees. It was an Ursula Jacob goal which was the decisive score in the 18th minute of the second half.
Cork already had rifled the ball to the back of the net twice with Sile Burns on target in the 32nd and 42nd minutes.
However Wexford’s early groundwork stood to them until the end as they took the first league points of the season.
At Kenny Park, Galway produced a solid performance, as Liam O’Donoghues’ charges finished convincing 2-11 to 0-5 winners over a disappointing Tipperary side.
Although the hosts were convincing in this game, they could only manage a 0-4 to 0-3 interval lead with Orla Kilkenny on target with three of their points, while Lourda Kavanagh was also on target.
Claire Grogan, Jill Horan and Mairead Morrissey kept the visitors in touch, and although Emily Hayden equalised within a minute of the restart, nothing could keep Galway at bay.
An excellent defensive performance from 19 year old Niamh Kilkenny, was just one of the highlights as her sister Orla, and Veronica Curtin rifled home second half goals to pave the way to victory.
Tipperary’s second point of the half, came in the second minute of injury time from Claire Grogan but this was mere consolation as Galway took a convincing 12 points win.
On Saturday Kilkenny set their campaign off to a winning start with a 1-10 to 1-7 victory over Dublin at Nowlan Park. It was late Sinead Millea goal, which proved to be the decisive score. The Cats played second fiddle for most of the opening half and Dublin held a 1-5 to 0-3 interval advantage thanks to a Joleene Horary goal. The loss of Kilkenny goalkeeper Catriona Ryan, unsettled her side in the opening quarter, and the home side failed to get going until the second half.
The early stages after the interval were keenly contested and it wasn’t until Millea sent a 59th minute free to the net, that Kilkenny paved the way for victory.
Wexford scorers: K Kelly 0-9; U Jacob 1-2; L Holohan 0-2; R Breen 0-1.
Cork scorers: S Burns 2-1; R Moloney 0-4; O Cotter 0-3
Galway scorers: V Curtin, O Kilkenny 1-3 each; J Gill 0-3; L Kavanagh, S Kane 0-1 each.
Tipperary scorers: C Grogan 0-2; J Horan, M Morrissey, E Hayden 0-1 each
Kilkenny scorers: S Millea 1-6; K Power 0-3; L Lyng 0-1.
Dublin scorers: C Lucey 0-4; J Horary 1-0; C Burgess, A Maguire, L O’Hara 0-1 each.
Wexford 0-05 Derry 1-11
Kilkenny 1-13 Clare 1-19
Waterford v Cork Postponed
Antrim v Dublin Cancelled
Offaly 7-08 Derry 2-01
Westmeath 1-06 Down 1-10
Carlow 3-17 Louth 0-02
Kildare 0-03 Meath 4-08