Easy for holders Kilkenny but Offaly take a big scalp

Champions Kilkenny got their title defence underway with a facile victory over Waterford at Walsh Park while the big talking point of the Liberty Insurance All- Ireland Senior Camogie Championship’s opening weekend was Offaly’s narrow defeat of Limerick in the Gaelic Grounds. 
Easy for holders Kilkenny but Offaly take a big scalp

Paddy Kirwan hailed his side’s character following the 2-18 to 3-14 win against the Munster champions.

“The first-half we did some great camogie but then we overcomplicated it,” he told Midlands Radio 3.

“We brought them back into the game by doing stupid things. We had to win the game three or four times and nearly lost it. The character was questioned there today- I questioned it at half time - but they showed a great bit of gumption.

“If we lost it there I don’t’ know where we’d turn.”

Dearbhla Egan gave the hosts the dream start with a goal but Offaly responded with eight consecutive points.

Limerick had further goals from Aisling Scanlon and Mairead Fitzgerald but Siobhán Flannery, who finished with 1-8, and Rachel Brennan raised green flags for Offaly, while 17-year-old Leaving Cert student Sarah Harding came off the bench to score two vital points.

There was no such drama in Kilkenny’s 2-15 to 0-6 win over Waterford with Shelly Farrell and Katie Power goaling for the victors.

In the group’s other game Dublin defeated Clare 3-11 to 1-14 in Coolock.

In Group 2, Cork used a strong wind to pull away from Tipperary in the second half and record a 1-16 to 1-7 win at The Ragg.

The home team had a mountain to climb at the interval as they trailed 0-6 to 0-4 despite having the advantage of the elements.

Cork punished them after the restart with two converted frees by Orla Cotter, who finished with six points including two from play, as well as efforts from Niamh McCarthy, Libby Coppinger and Amy O’Connor before Hannah Looney kicked a 35th-minute goal.

Ciardha Maher had a late Tipperary goal but Cork were out of sight.

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