Wednesday 21 February 2018

Stumbling start for defending champs Galway camogie

Wexford's Kate Kelly prepares to take a late free against Galway. Photo: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Wexford's Kate Kelly prepares to take a late free against Galway. Photo: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Daragh Ó Conchúir

Galway's defence of their Liberty Insurance senior title met with an early setback after old rivals Wexford inflicted a 2-12 to 1-11 defeat at Kenny Park.

Wexford led at the end of a lively first half thanks to the superiority of Shelly Kehoe and Josie Dwyer in midfield and Ursula Jacob's scoring prowess.

Helena Jacob's side flew out of the traps in the second half, with points from Dwyer and Jacob followed by a Fiona Rochford goal. Galway showed their mettle when Orlaith McGrath found the net and Aislinn Connolly levelled soon after. But Kate Kelly raised the green flag late on and Jacob pointed to secure the win for Wexford.

League champions Kilkenny accounted for Offaly at Nowlan Park by 5-16 to 0-8. The visitors opened the scoring via an Elaine Dermody free and Elaine Kavanagh was forced into a smart save from Arlene Watkins.

Three quick goals shattered the resistance, though. Katie Power and Michelle Quilty netted before Ann Dalton delivered a brilliant solo effort, collecting possession 50 metres out; cutting a swathe through the Offaly defence and sending an unstoppable shot from 20 metres to the net. Aisling Dunphy added another just before half-time to make it 4-6 to 0-6.

Aoife Neary scored goal number five in the second half and though Dermody took her own tally to six points, the result wasn't in doubt.

Clare put their disappointing league final effort behind them with a 3-11 to 1-8 win over Derry at Celtic Park. Goals from Deirdre Murphy, Fiona Lafferty and Lisa Loughnane helped them to a 3-7 to 0-7 lead at half-time.

Derry were excellent in the second half, but failed to capitalise on their possession, with the notable exception of Karen Kielt. The centre-forward did scramble a 43rd-minute goal but Clare were always comfortable.

It was very easy for Cork at O'Toole Park with a 4-24 to 0-5 win against Dublin. Paudie Murray's girls were magnificent, with Jenny O'Leary the pick when scoring 2-9.

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