Wexford led at the end of a lively first half, thanks to the superiority of Shelly Kehoe and Josie Dwyer at midfield, and Ursula Jacob’s scoring prowess. They could also thank goalkeeper Mags D’Arcy, who deflected Niamh McGrath’s penalty over the crossbar. Helena Jacob’s side flew from the traps in the second half with points from Dwyer and Jacob followed by a Fiona Rochford goal.
Galway showed their mettle when a pass from Brenda Hanney was finished by Orlaith McGrath and Aislinn Connolly levelled soon after.
Hanney was denied a goal by another brilliant D’Arcy save before Kate Kelly’s injury-time effort flew all the way to Galway net and Jacob pointed to secure the win.
League champions Kilkenny accounted for Offaly at Nowlan Park, 5-16 to 0-8.
The visitors opened the scoring with an Elaine Dermody free but three quick goals shattered their resistance. The first came from Katie Power, who flicked Aoife Neary’s delivery to the net. Michelle Quilty then finished from close range after a storming run. The third was a brilliant solo effort from Ann Dalton. Aisling Dunphy added another just before half time to make it 4-6 to 0-6.
Kilkenny focussed on points after the resumption, although Neary did pounce for a fifth goal.
Clare put their disappointing league final effort behind them with a 3-11 to 1-8 win over Derry at Celtic Park.
The hosts began well and their captain, Meabh McGoldrick, had two points on the board when Deirdre Murphy goaled for the visitors. Derry steadied the ship but were rocked by Fiona Lafferty’s goal. And when Lisa Loughnane rifled a shot to the net, it was 3-5 to 0-4. It was 3-7 to 0-7 at half-time but Derry were excellent in the second half but failed to capitalise on their possession, with the notable exception of Karen Kielt, who scrambled a 43rd minute goal. But Clare were always comfortable.
It was very easy for Cork at O’Toole Park against a Dublin side, who despite two early points from Ali and Miriam Twomey, were never in contention as they lost by 4-24 to 0-5. Paudie Murray’s girls were magnificent, with Jenny O’Leary helping herself to 2-9. Orla Cotter (1-6) and Katrina Mackey (1-4) were the other beneficiaries of the midfield dominance of Joanne Casey and Ashling Thompson.
Scorers for Cork: J O’Leary 2-9 (0-4f), K Mackey 1-5, O Cotter 1-5 (0-1 ‘45’), R Buckley (f), J Casey, H Looney, D Cronin, B Corkery 0-1 each.
Scorers for Dublin: L O’Hara (f), A Carolan, L Twomey, M Twomey, E Kehoe 0-1 each.
CORK: A Murray; J O’Callaghan, M Walsh, L Tracey; P Mackey, R Buckley, E O’Sullivan; J Casey, A Thompson; H Looney, D Cronin, B Corkery; K Mackey, O Cotter, J O’Leary.
Sub: A Geary for O’Callaghan (43).
DUBLIN: K Whyte; E Whyte, S O’Toole, G Quinn; A Carolan, M Moynihan, C Rigney; E O’Meara, L Twomey; A Twomey, L O’Hara, M Twomey; O Durkin, S Ryan, A Fanning.
Subs: A Bugler for O’Toole (44), A Ryan for Durkin (51), E Kehoe for M Twomey (57).
Referee: O Elliott (Antrim).