Kilkenny side show grit to sink Clare at Cusack Park
Kilkenny repeated their league final defeat of Clare in the senior championship at Cusack Park but it was a much more competitive affair on this occasion.
The Noresiders had 15 points to spare at Semple Stadium last May but having struggled with the occasion of their first ever national decider at senior level, Clare were much more composed this time.
Still, Kilkenny were deserving 1-13 to 0-12 winners and had to show plenty of resolve after being reduced to 14 players with the dismissal of ace freetaker Denise Gaule.
They led by 0-7 to 0-3 at half-time and when Aisling Dunphy pounced for a goal straight after the resumption it was looking good for last year's All-Ireland finalists.
They were eight points ahead when Gaule was sent off. Clare then upped the pace. Chloe Morey was unerring from placed balls as Colm Honan's side fought back.
The result was in doubt right until the end but Kilkenny's defence held out and are now closing in on a place in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Elsewhere, Offaly recorded their second victory of the campaign by virtue of a 0-17 to 1-11 scoreline against Tipperary at The Ragg.
In the intermediate championship Cork defeated Meath by 2-12 to 0-10 in the Camogie Grounds, while Waterford came out on top against Wexford, 1-13 to 0-4, at Fraher Field.
Limerick completed a clean sweep in Group 1 with a 3-23 to 0-9 win over Tipperary.