Ben McCormack cuts inside Jason McLoughlin
Kildare and Cavan played out a hum-dinger in St Conleth's Park, Newbridge, this afternoon with the home side collecting the two points on offer and what a crucial two points that could prove to be.
In a game of high quality, open football, Kildare were never headed; they opened a three point lead early on only for Cavan to draw level at the first water break.
Three points in a two minute spell edged ahead by three again and by half time that lead was stretched out to four 0-13 to 0-9, Cavan though had a penalty brilliantly saved by Kildare keeper Mark Donnellan.
By mid-way through the second half the lead was out to seven and it looked like Kildare were in cruise control and when Cavan reduced that by two, The Lilies hit back with a brilliant Fergal Conway goal followed by two points left it it 1-18 to 0-11 with 53 minutes on the clock.
Ten points in the difference but Cavan came storming back to get within three points of the home side and it could have been level after a miss-placed pass put Cavan through but the ball was dropped at a crucial time.
Kildare hit back, were unlucky not to have got a penalty but points from Darragh Kirawn and Jimmy Hyland eased them over the line for a vital win.
Kildare's inside line of Ben McCormack, Darragh Kirwan (making his debut with four points from play) and Jimmy Hyland who between them raised 15 white flags.
Next up Westmeath, next Saturday, also at St Conleth's Park.
Scorers: Kildare, Jimmy Hyland 0-9 (5 frees, 1 mark), Darragh Kirwan 0-4, Kevin Flynn 0-3, Fergal Conway 1-0, Ben McCormak 0-2, Paul Cribbin 0-1, Liam Power 0-1, Kevin Feely 0-1,
Cavan, Chris Conway 0-8 (5 frees, 45), Gearoid McKiernan 0-5 (2 frees), Conor Smit 0-2, Caoimhan McGovern 0-2, Cormac O'Reilly 0-2, Oisin Kiernan 0-1.
KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Shea Ryan, Mick O'Grady, Eoin Doyle; David Hyland cpt., Con Kavanagh, Kevin Flynn, Kevin Feely, Aaron Masterson; Paul Cribbin, Paddy Brophy, Liam Power; Ben McCormack, Darragh Kirwan, Jimmy Hyland. Subs: Fergal Conway for Liam Power (46 minutes); Neil Flynn for Paul Cribbin (58 minutes); Keith Cribbin for Con Kavanagh (60 minute); Eanna O'Connor for Paddy Brophy (63 minutes); Tommy Moolick for Darragh Kirwan (68 minutes).
CAVAN: Raymond Galligan; Jason McLoughlin, Killian Brady, Cormac O'Reilly; Gerard Smith, Chris Conroy, Ciaran Brady; Gearoid McKiernan, Padraig Faulkner; Oisin Kiernan, Martin Reilly, Oisin Brady; Conor Smith, Cormac Timoney, Evan Doughty. Subs: Conor Madden for Evan Doughty (44 minutes); Luke Fortune for Oisin Brady (45 minutes); Ciamhan McGovern for Martin Reilly (53 minutes); Bryan Magee for Conor Smith (58 minutes); Niall Murray for Cormac O'Reilly (70 minutes).
REFEREE: Cormac Reilly, Meath.