McNamara goal stuns Cork as Limerick get off to a flier
Limerick got their national league campaign off to a cracking start by beating All-Ireland champions Cork by 1-11 to 0-9 at Rathkeale's Mick Neville Park.
There were a number of unfamiliar faces on view in both red and green and if Paudie Murray was being more experimental, John Tuohy must have been delighted by how his blend of youth and experience operated in his first competitive game as successor to Joe Quaid.
The home side flew out of the traps with Niamh Mulcahy heavily involved , while Sarah Carey was indomitable in midfield.
The key score arrived nine minutes into the second half, when Mulcahy's free was batted out but Sinead McNamara was on hand to pick up the pieces and bundle home a goal. That gave them the vital breathing space to hold on for a deserved victory.
In the other Group 2 game, it was easy for Ann Downey's Kilkenny as they blitzed Derry 5-9 to 0-1 at Conahy Shamrocks. Goals from Áine Gannon and Denise Gaule helped the home side to a 2-6 to 0-0 interval lead before Sarah Ann Quinlan (two)and Michelle Quilty also hit the net in the second half.
With the Wexford-Clare tie postponed due to the waterlogged pitch in Clane, Co Kildare, there were just two games in Group 1 as well. Galway got the defence of their title off to the perfect start with a 3-7 to 0-5 win over Tipperary at The Ragg.
A 13th minute goal from Aoife Donohue gave Ollie Bergin's crew a good head of steam and when Aoife Callanan shook the rigging just before the break, it was 2-7 to 0-0. Callanan registered her second major three minutes after the restart but Galway didn't score again, something that is sure to concern their new manager.
Meanwhile, a strong second half performance gave Offaly the hard-earned points by 0-10 to 0-6 against Dublin in Banagher.