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DEFENDING champions Cork picked up where they left off last year as they opened the defence of their Bord Gáis Energy National Ladies Football League crown with a comprehensive 2-12 to 0-4 victory against outclassed Kildare yesterday.

The Rebelettes, All-Ireland champions for the last four seasons, were in devastating form at Cork IT and the game was effectively over at half-time as Cork led by 2-6 to 0-1.

Lethal forwards Valerie Mulcahy and Mary O’Connor supplied the first half goals and while the Lilywhites made more of a game of it in the second half, this was the best possible start to the new season.

Elsewhere, last year’s beaten finalists Kerry earned a hard-fought 2-6 to 1-6 victory against hosts Armagh at Killeavey.

Armagh led by 0-5 to 0-4 at half-time but goals from Linda Cronin and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh turned the game in favour of the Kingdom as the visitors moved 2-6 to 0-5 in front with ten minutes remaining.

Substitute Kelly Mallon brought Armagh back into the game with a goal, followed by by an Aileen Matthews point, but Kerry held on for the opening day win.

Meanwhile, there was a dramatic finish in Killanin as hosts Galway were defeated 1-9 to 1-6 by Clare.

The game was heading for stalemate before Clare’s Louise Henchy stole the points, netting with the last kick of the game to secure a dramatic win for the Banner County.

The sides were level at 1-3 to 0-6 at half-time as Sarah Burke supplied Galway’s first half goal.

Tyrone proved Mayo’s bogey once again as the influential Gemma Begley hit 0-5 for the Red Hands in their 1-9 to 1-7 victory at Trillick.

Tyrone led by 1-5 to 0-4 at half-time as Dearbhla McCallan pounced for a 7th minute goal.

Four minutes after half-time, Mayo star Cora Staunton, who finished with 1-5, scored a deflected goal to haul the Westerners right back into contention but Tyrone held out for a notable victory.

Dublin showed that they could be a real force to be reckoned with in the coming season as they shocked last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists Monaghan on a 4-7 to 1-7 scoreline.

Niamh Hurley scored 2-2 for the Sky Blues while Sinéad Ahern and Lindsey Davey supplied the other goals for the winners, who led by 1-5 to 0-2 at half-time.

Edel Byrne scored a second half goal for Monaghan which proved merely a consolation as the metropolitans laid down an early marker.

And Laois went goal-crazy against hapless Donegal at Mountmellick en route to a facile 7-12 to 1-5 win.

The O’Moore girls led by 4-5 to 1-3 at half-time and never took their foot off the gas in the second half as Tracey Lawlor finished as top scorer with 2-4.

Aileen O’Loughlin and Áine Quigley helped themselves to a brace of goals each and Martina Kirwan weighed in with 1-3 as Nora Stapleton replied with Donegal’s goal.





Bord Gáis Energy Division 1


Armagh 1-6 Kerry 2-6
Laois 7-12 Donegal 1-5
Tyrone 1-9 Mayo 1-7
Cork 2-12 Kildare 0-4
Monaghan 1-7 Dublin 4-7
Galway 1-6 Clare 1-9


Bord Gáis Energy Division 2:

Sligo 4-14 Leitrim 0-5
Wexford 3-6 Waterford 3-9
Cavan 0-10 Fermanagh 1-6




Division 1 scorers:


Scorers for Kerry: L Cronin 1-1, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh 1-0, P Dennehy 0-3, D Murphy 0-1, S Houlihan 0-1.
Scorers for Armagh: K Mallon 1-0, A Matthews 0-3, S O’Hagan 0-2, M McAlinden 0-1.




Galway scorers: S Burke 1-1, U Carroll 0-2, L Cohill 0-1, H McHugh 0-1, M Murray 0-1
Clare: L Henchy 1-3, A Kelly 0-3 (2f), M Considine 0-2 (1f), D Troy 0-1.




Laois scorers: T Lawlor 2-4, A O’Loughlin 2-1, M Kirwan 1-3, A Quigley 2-0, N Kirwan 0-4.
Donegal scorers: N Stapleton 1-1, N Doherty 0-2, N Hegarty 0-2.




Dublin scorers: N Hurley 2-2, S Ahern 1-3, L Davey 1-0, A-Marie Murphy 0-1, M Nevin 0-1.
Monaghan scorers: E Byrne 1-1, C McAnespie 0-2, N Kindlon 0-2, A McAnespie 0-1, T McNally 0-1.




Cork scorers: V Mulcahy 1-3, M O’Connor 1-2, N Cleary 0-2, A O’Shea 0-2, D O’Reilly 0-1, C O’Sullivan 0-1, J Murphy 0-1.
Kildare scorer: A Jennings 0-4.



Tyrone scorers: G Begley 0-5 D McCallan 1-1, C McGahan 0-1, L McGreesh 0-1, C Donnelly 0-1.
Mayo scorers: C Staunton 1-5, L Cafferkey 0-1, A Herbert 0-1.

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