Jimmy Hyland scored 0-9 as Kildare withstood a late Cavan rally in Newbridge to ease their relegation worries.
With Clare beating Fermanagh in Ennis, nothing less than a win would suffice for Jack O'Connor's side who join Cavan and Clare on six points in Division 2 ahead of next weekend's final round clash with promotion-chasing Westmeath. Fermanagh are already demoted with Laois now occupying the other relegation spot on five points.
The Lilywhites signalled their intent by opening up an early 0-4 to 0-1 lead and were 0-13 to 0-9 up at half-time, with the excellent Hyland accounting for 0-6 of their first half tally and Darragh Kirwan, who posted 0-4 in an impressive debut at full forward, also on the target. Gearoid McKiernan kicked three first half points for the visitors who were left to rue a missed penalty by Martin Reilly just before the interval when Mark Donnellan pulled off a terrific save.
Kildare's Kevin Feely celebrates with goalkeeper Mark Donnellan. ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo.
Further points from Kirwan, Hyland and Kevin Flynn, coupled with a 51st minute goal from experienced substitute Fergal Conway, helped the hosts to a seemingly unassailable 1-18 to 0-11 lead, but with Chris Conway on song from frees, Mickey Graham's charges outscored them by 0-9 to 0-3 in the last 15 minutes to set up a nervy finish.
Kildare - M Donnellan; S Ryan, M O’Grady, E Doyle; D Hyland, C Kavanagh, K Flynn (0-3); K Feely (0-1), A Masterson; P Cribbin (0-1), P Brophy, L Power (0-1); B McCormack (0-2), D Kirwan (0-4), J Hyland (0-9, 5f). Subs: F Conway (1-0) for L Power, N Flynn for P Cribbin, K Cribbin for C Kavanagh, E O’Connor for P Brophy, T Moolick for D Kirwan.
Cavan - R Galligan; J McLoughlin, K Brady, C O’Reilly (0-1); G Smith, C Conroy (0-7, 6f), C Brady; G McKiernan (0-5, 2f), P Faulkner; O Kiernan (0-2, 1f), M Reilly, O Brady; C Smith (0-2), C Timoney (0-1m), E Doughty. Subs: C Madden for E Doughty, L Fortune for O Brady, C McGovern (0-2) for M Reilly, B Magee for C Smith, N Murray for C O’Reilly.
Referee - C Reilly.Tweet