All-Ireland Qualifiers round one
After the embarrassing nature of Kildare's Leinster Championship defeat to Carlow a fortnight ago, the Lilywhites responded emphatically by travelling to Owenbeg and dumping Derry out of the All-Ireland qualifiers.
Cian O'Neill's side delivered the perfect response in the wake of some criticism as they turned in a brilliant attacking display that was spearheaded by Fergal Conway in the first half and substitute Neill Flynn in the second.
It was a much needed win that ended a losing streak of 12 games that dated back to the Leinster final loss to Dublin almost 12 months ago, and it was the first time that Kildare have tasted this feeling since beating Meath last June.
Daniel Flynn's eighth minute wonder goal lit up a thrilling first half that concluded with Kildare going into the turnaround with a two-point lead.
After some early off the ball skirmishes in which Fergal Conway and Leo McGoldrick were booked, the game began in blistering fashion as Conway and Shay McGuigan swapped points, before Daniel Flynn nudged Kildare ahead with a fine score.
Derry soon hit the first goal of the game as Enda Lynn appeared to get the last touch on a shot from McGuigan. Kildare responded instantaneously with a fine point from Conway, before Flynn hit his wonder goal as he took on the entire Derry defence before lashing a brilliant shot into the top corner. A couple of points in quick succession but Kildare in command, but the Lilywhites were dealt a blow when captain Eoin Doyle received a black card for pulling down the marauding Padraig Cassidy.
Emmet Bradley and Cassidy both raised white flags for the hosts before Kevin Feely responded with a free, but a second goal from Lynn on 19 minutes levelled matters at 1-6 to 2-3. Kildare powered ahead with points from Tommy Moolick and Keith Cribbin, before Jack Doherty and Kildare debutant James Murray traded scores at either end.
Conway smacked over another couple of points to bring his tally to four points, but scores from McGoldrick and Lynn kept Derry within just one point as the break approached, but Feely added another score from a free to double their advantage before half-time.
Mark Donnellan was the pivotal figure of the game in the opening stages of the second half as he pulled off a brilliant save on Bradley before Mick O'Grady replicated his effort by blocking McGuigan's follow up. Donnellan then struck a '45 between the posts before Lynch and David Slattery pointed at either end. Kildare took the initiative after that as the impressive Moolick landed his second score, before Feely set Niall Kelly up to bundle home the visitor's second goal after 44 minutes.
The Lilywhites lost Feely to injury after that, and Derry remained in touch thanks to a clutch of frees from Bradley and a score from Doherty, while substitute Neill Flynn nailed a brilliant score a couple of minutes after his introduction to keep Kildare in command.
The Maynooth man and Johnny Byrne both chalked up excellent scores to push Kildare six clear as the game neared its final passages, which turned out to be quite messy as David Hyland was black carded and Derry's Mark Lynch received a straight red card, prompting referee David Coldrick to add seven minutes of stoppage time.
Scorers for Kildare: N Flynn 0-6(2F), F Conway 0-4, D Flynn 1-1, N Kelly 1-0, P Cribbin, T Moolick and K Feely(2f) 0-2 each, J Byrne, D Slattery, J Murray, K Cribbin and M Donnellan('45) 0-1 each.
Scorers for Derry: E Lynn 2-2, E Bradley 0-4f, M Lynch(2f) and J Doherty 0-2 each, J Kielt, P Cassidy, S McGoldrick and S McGuigan 0-1 each.
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