All-Ireland champions Galway got their League Division 1 campaign off to the worst possible start falling to a determined Kilkenny outfit in Ballinasloe.
The Noresiders had the memory of their All-Ireland final loss to the westerners to motivate them and flew out of the traps, doing most of the damage in the first half before easing to a 2-11 to 0-8 success.
It was easy for Offaly as they beat Tipperary 2-17 to 0-10 in Birr. The home team played against the wind in the opening period, at the end of which they trailed by just 0-8 to 0-6. Nicole Walsh, who finished with five points, was Tipp’s top scorer but once Offaly got the wind in their sails, there was no doubt.
They hit five quick points, with Elaine Dermody providing three of them and having a hand in the other two. Natalie McCabe goaled after 38 minutes and four minutes later, substitute Arlene Watkins rifled a shot to the net to finish the game as a contest.
Clare used the elements well to account for Derry in Bray, holding their opponents scoreless while scoring 1-11. The Oak Leafers will take plenty of encouragement from their second-half efforts though, particularly as they had been forced to field without the injured Karen Kielt.
Clare gave teenager Vera Loughnane her first start and she had a goal and two points scored by the fifth minute. Máire McGrath was outstanding at full-back and Claire McMahon, Laura Lenane and Fiona Lafferty were amongst the point-scorers.
Mary Kelly grabbed an early goal for Derry in the second half and Bronagh McGillian notched up five points from placed balls, but Clare were never going to be caught.
Katrina Mackey took the weekend’s scoring honours, registering 4-3 as Cork blitzed Dublin 8-18 to 1-4. There were goals too for Jenny O’Leary, Orla Cotter, Eimear O’Sullivan and Joanne Casey, while Cotter added six points to her tally and O’Leary four. Aisling Maher got Dublin’s goal.
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