A 10th minute goal by wing-back Keith Cribbin gave the hosts an early advantage. But with Tony Taylor gradually getting into the game at midfield after a strong start by Darryl Flynn and David Whyte, the visitors clawed themselves back into proceedings.
A 25th minute penalty from Stephen Coen left it at 1-10 to 1-7 at half time but with Johnny Doyle in cracking form after the resumption, Kildare pulled clear again. Sligo continued to plug away though and Colm Magee fired into the corner in the 51st minute after a pass from Eamonn O’Hara. Points from O’Hara, Magee and Coen saw Sligo hit the front but a brace from Doyle gave Kildare the lead with time running out before Noel Maguire popped up to secure a draw.
KILDARE: S McCormack; P Kelly, G White, H McGrillen; K Cribbin 1-2, B Flanagan, M O’Flaherty; D Flynn, D Whyte; J Kavanagh 0-2, J Doyle 0-7(4fs), R Sweeney 0-2; A Smith 0-1, E Callaghan 0-1, K Donnelly 0-1.
Subs: T O’Connor for Donnelly (55); D Earley for Kavanagh (60); D Hendy for White (63)
SLIGO: P Greene; C Harrison, N Maguire 0-1, R Donovan; K Cawley, B Phillips, J Davey; T Taylor, S Gilmartin; A Costello 0-1, E O’Hara 0-2; S Davey 0-1; S Coen 1-4(1-0 pen, 0-3fs), K Sweeney, C Magee 1-4(0-4fs)
Referee: E Kinsella (Laois).