Galway 0-16 Kildare 0-10
Galway finished top of Division 1 of the Allianz Football League with their sixth win of the campaign after inflicting a seventh straight defeat on Kildare at St. Conleth's Park, Newbridge.
Ten different players were on target for the Tribesmen in a game where they lead throughout. The result mattered little for either side with Galway already through to the final, and Kildare demoted to Division 2 for 2019.
In his first game for the Lilywhites since Moorefield exited the AIB All-Ireland Club SFC, Eanna O'Connor started in attack and finished with four points, with his club colleague Mark Dempsey among the substitutes.
Dempsey was one of three league debutants from the bench for Kildare, and came on as a half-time substitute for Cian O'Neill's charges, with Galway's All-Ireland winning Corofin contingent yet to return to county duty.
Patrick Sweeney fired two early scores for Galway, before Kildare opened their tally through an O'Connor pointed free, and a close-range Tommy Moolick effort levelled matters.
Galway got on top once more with midfielder Eoin Finnerty landing a fine point, and then Johnny Duane slotted over from distance.
The Tribesmen had a lot of players willing to step up to the mark in front of the posts, with Padraic Cunningham their fourth scorer as he helped open up a three-point gap at the end of the first quarter.
Kildare responded with Eamonn Callaghan setting up Jimmy Hyland to take a fine point. Sean Kelly blazed a goal chance narrowly wide of the posts, but Galway made amends.
Three unanswered scores stretched their lead, with Sean Armstrong and Kelly on target.
Kildare finished well thanks to an O'Connor point and a Johnny Byrne score, but Galway always had that bit extra.
On the restart, they added three points inside four minutes, that provided a solid platform for victory.
Armstrong added yet another fine point, before Shane Walsh, who came on as a half-time substitute landed a score from a free.
Another Armstrong point ensured the gap was now out to six points.
Paul Cribbin claimed a point back for Kildare, and while the likes of Daniel Courtney, Fionn Dowling and Kevin Flynn looked dangerous, Galway held out for a deserved win.
GALWAY: Ruairi Lavelle; Evan Wynne, Declan Kyne, David Wynne, Gary O’Donnell, Johnny Duane (0-1), Gareth Bradshaw, Patrick Sweeney (0-2), Ciaran Duggan, Thomas Flynn, Sean Kelly (0-2), Eoin Finnerty (0-1), Eamonn Brannigan, Sean Armstrong (0-3, 2f), Padraic Cunningham (0-2). Subs: Shane Walsh (0-1, 1f) for Kelly (HT); Frankie Burke (0-1) for Sweeney (46); Michael Daly (0-1) for Brannigan (52); Cian D’Arcy (0-1) for Armstrong (56); Adrian Varley (0-1) for Cunningham (67).
KILDARE: Aaron O’Neill; Peter Kelly, David Hyland, Mark Hyland, Johnny Byrne, Eoin Doyle, Kevin Flynn, Paul Cribbin (0-1), Tommy Moolick (0-1), Fergal Conway (0-1), Keith Cribbin, Eamonn Callaghan, Jimmy Hyland (0-1), Eanna O’Connor (0-4, 2fs, 1 45), Paddy Brophy (0-1). Subs: Mark Dempsey for M Hyland (HT); Fionn Dowling for Conway (45); David Slattery for Callaghan (49); Daniel Courtney (0-01) for Byrne (55); Ruadhan O’Giollain for Hyland (66).
REFEREE: Conor Lane (Cork)