Kilkenny made it two from two in Group 2 of the Liberty Insurance senior camogie championship, showing no sympathy to a severely understrength Clare to record a 2-22 to 0-6 victory over Clare at the St Lachtain’s pitch in Freshford.
Fintan Deegan’s players were ruthless in disposing of their opponents, who were unlucky that the Kilkenny forward unit was moving to such effect. The winners scored 2-20 from play and set the tone for the day by racing into a 0-8 to 0-0 lead after just nine minutes.
Michelle Caulfield and Chloe Morey shot Clare’s only first-half points but that left them 13 in arrears at the interval. Ann Dalton, Denise Gaule, Michelle Quilty and Katie Power kept the scoreboard ticking over before Gaule pounced for two goals in the space of a minute late on to complete the rout.
The first arrived on the 55th minute, when Gaule showed her predatory instincts by pouncing on a rebound from a Denise Lynch save to find the net. From the restart, the ace forward took a pass from Power before giving Lynch no chance from the edge of the square.
It was much closer in Kilmallock as All-Ireland champions Cork bounced back from their opening round defeat by Galway to inflict a first loss on last year’s intermediate winners Limerick, by 1-14 to 1-10.
The Leesiders’ physical strength was notable early on and it was one-way traffic as they went 0-9 to 0-2 clear, with Orla Cotter (who finished with six points) punishing any transgressions from frees. Team captain Ashling Thompson, Briege Corkery and Orla Cronin all shone as Cork threatened to put their fellow Munster girls to the sword.
Limerick improved in the second half, with Niamh Mulcahy and Aoife Sheehan showing well. They brought the margin back down to five but when Katrina Mackey goaled it looked all over for Joe Quaid’s charges. Mackey was a constant thorn in the side of the Limerick defence and plundered 1-3 from play.
Not for the first time in recent years, Limerick showed the depth of their character though. They dug deep Rebecca Delee’s goal helped get them to within three points. Cork showed their experience to see the game out however and a late 45 from Cotter proved the insurance score.
Wexford recovered from a tentative start to get their campaign off to a good start with a 4-11 to 0-13 win over a typically competitive Offaly unit at St Brendan’s Park, Birr.
Colm McGee had to plan without a number of big-name stars with Úna Leacy joining Ursula Jacob, Karen Atkinson and Mags D’Arcy on the sidelines after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury that rules her out for the rest of the season.
Offaly capitalised on the resultant early uncertainty. Siobhán Flannery was on fire from frees as the hosts went into an early four-point lead but from the time Kate Kelly goaled from a free, Wexford’s confidence surged and they held the upper hand. Kelly grabbed a second goal on the way to racking up a tally of 2-5 but with Flannery recording six points, it was still all to play for at the change of ends, at 2-6 to 0-8.
Minor goalkeeper Laura Brennan made a tremendous save from Arlene Watkins early in the second half to keep Offaly at bay and that was to prove a crucial contribution. Instead, Stacey Kehoe grabbed a brace at the other end and with Mary Leacy making another player-of-the-match contribution, Wexford could relax.
At The Ragg, Tipperary edged out Derry in a cracker by 3-12 to 4-8.