Camogie: Curtin calls shots as Galway end Model run
Veronica Curtin was a surprising absentee from the Galway team that started the opening round of the All-Ireland senior camogie championship, but the wily Kinvara legend showed her class when sprung from the bench against Wexford on Saturday.
Galway manager Noel Finn turned to Curtin for inspiration and she duly delivered with an impressive 2-2 haul as the Westerners finally laid their Wexford bogey to rest with a sensational 2-14 to 0-9 win.
Curtin scored two late first-half goals to propel Galway into a five-point interval lead despite being under severe pressure from Wexford, who had beaten them in last year's All-Ireland final and this year's League Division 1 decider.
Susan Earner also made a couple of stunning saves to deny the All-Ireland champions, while Therese Maher shone at centre-back, with Ann Marie Hayes also instrumental in holding the Model County at bay.
Ursula Jacob scored all seven of Wexford's points from frees as they seemed set for a one-point lead at the break. But substitute Curtin showed her alertness when finding the net from close range in the second minute of injury-time and there was still time for her dangerous delivery to be deflected for a second off a Wexford stick.
After the break, Galway hit seven unanswered points, including a pair each from Curtin and Aislinn Connolly (0-7) to put the game to bed.
As expected, Kilkenny were made to work extremely hard by the 2010 intermediate champions Offaly before winning by 4-17 to 2-11. The final scoreline didn't do justice to the Faithful women's efforts as they recovered from an early six-point deficit to draw level and were still just 2-9 to 1-7 in arrears at the interval.
The crucial score of the game arrived just after the interval when Michelle Quilty, who finished with 2-7, goaled to make Offaly's task very difficult.
Cork were comfortable 3-16 to 0-10 winners over Clare, with Sile Burns the star of the show, scoring 3-4 from play and with Gemma O'Connor a powerful presence at centre-back.
Tipperary also had to dig deep before coming out on top against Dublin by 3-12 to 0-12, with Sarah Fryday scoring two goals and Noreen Flanagan bagging another in injury-time.