Kildare 2-22 Derry 2-14
By Cóilín Duffy
Kildare claimed their first win in 12 months, with a richly deserved eight-point qualifier win over Derry in Owenbeg.
The Lilywhites lost their captain Eoin Doyle to a black card after 15 minutes, but responded well and led by 1-12 to 2-7 at half-time.
Kildare lost Paddy Brophy to a hand injury in the warm-up, and his replacement Keith Cribbin offered much to the visitors cause over the 70 minutes plus.
Derry settled quickest, with Slaughtneil clubman Shane McGuigan finding the net early on, after some good pressure by Enda Lynn, with Sean Leo McGoldrick also solid for the Oak Leafers throughout.
Kildare fought back with Fergal Conway scoring the second of his four opening half points from play, before a Daniel Flynn goal put the visitors 1-3 to 1-1 ahead, with just eight minutes played.
Flynn drawing five Derry defenders, after some solid work by Kevin Feely in the midfield sector.
Paul Cribbin was also impressive, and claimed two fine points, as Kildare took a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Kildare then lost Doyle to a black card after a tackle on Padraig Cassidy, with Johnny Byrne introduced.
Emmet Bradley converted the resulting free, before adding another score from 45 metres, after Mick O'Grady committed a foul.
A Cassidy point cut the gap to two on 21 minutes, before Kevin Feely restored Kildare's three-point advantage with the visitors first score from a placed ball.
Derry pressed hard with Padraig Cassidy running at the Kildare defence, before Enda Lynn got a touch, to level the contest at 2-3 to 1-6.
Kildare responded well, with a Tommy Moolick point from the kick-out, and following a Keith Cribben score Kildare took a 1-8 to 2-3 lead.
Derry cut the gap, but a Johnny Byrne restored Kildare's three-point lead.
Mark Lynch and Conway swapped points, before Enda Lynn brought his tally to 1-2, after a patient build-up, which also involved good work by Sean Leo McGoldrick.
However a Feely pointed free rounded off an encouraging opening half for Kildare as they led 1-12 to 2-7 at the break.
Cassidy was a strong presence for Derry in the opening half, but his impact was majorly reduced on the restart.
Kildare upped their game, with Keith Cribben continuing to impress and Niall Kelly claiming the only goal of the second half, after Cribben provided the final pass.
Neil Flynn made a telling contribution also for the Lilywhites with five points including two from frees - after he came off the bench in the 47th minute.
Derry finished this game with 14 men, with Mark Lynch sent to the line after a melee late in this contest.
Scorers for Kildare: Neil Flynn 0-5 (2fs), Fergal Conway 0-4, Niall Kelly 1-1, Daniel Flynn 1-1, Tommy Moolick and Kevin Feely 0-2 each, Mark Donnellan, James Murray, David Slattery, Keith Cribben, Johnny Byrne 0-1 each.
Scorers for Derry: Emmet Bradley (4f) 0-5; Enda Lynn 1-2; Shane McGuigan 1-1; Mark Lynch, Pádraig Cassidy, Sean Leo McGoldrick 0-1 each.
KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Peter Kelly, David Hyland, Mick O’Grady; James Murray, Eoin Doyle, Kevin Flynn; Kevin Feely, Tommy Moolick; Fergal Conway, Paul Cribben, Keith Cribbin; David Slattery, Daniel Flynn, Niall Kelly. Subs: Johnny Byrne for Eoin Doyle (15 BC); Neil Flynn for Kevin Feely (47); Chris Healy for Keith Cribben (59); Eanna O'Connor for Niall Kelly (67); Fionn Dowling for Fergal Conway (71).
DERRY: Ben McKinless; Paul McNeill, Kevin Johnston, Michael McEvoy; Liam McGoldrick, Christopher McKaigue, Séan Leo McGoldrick; Conor McAtamney, Pádraig Cassidy; Jack Doherty, Emmet Bradley, Patrick Coney; Enda Lynn, Shane McGuigan, Mark Lynch. Subs: James Kielt for Shane McGuigan (Blood 32); Brendan Rogers for Paul McNeill (HT); Terence O'Brien for Conor McAtamney (HT); Carlus McWilliams for Patrick Coney (42); James Kielt for Shane McGuigan (51); Michael Bateson for Liam McGoldrick (59); Niall Toner for Sean Leo McGoldrick (71).
REFEREE: David Coldrick (Meath).