Lilies hold off gritty Lancashire
Kildare 0-16 Lancashire 2-6
Kildare produced a workmanlike performance to see off gritty Lancashire in Newbridge.
An injury-time penalty goal from Lancashire's Michael Molloy left three points between them before Emmet Hyland's fine point at the other end was the last act.
Lancashire began with intent and giant full-forward Liam Coyne diverted John O'Neill's high ball to the net in the fourth minute to put his side four points up. He continued to trouble the Kildare defence but with Eoghan Carew and Paddy Dunne gradually exerting dominance around midfield, the supply began to dry up.
Darroch Mulhall was looking very lively at the other end and contributed four points, although he also wasted a gilt-edged goal opportunity. Lancashire would not go away though and points from Ciaran Shields, Molloy, Stephen Sands and Coyne put them level, before Carew landed a '45' to give the hosts a narrow 0-9 to 1-5 interval advantage.
Ciaran Kelly, Tommy Moolick and Mulhall stretched that lead in the second half, with Carew and John Browne at half-back driving the Lilywhites forward.
Molloy's point was their only score of the latter period before the John Mitchell's clubman sent Robbie Eyres the wrong way from the penalty spot.
It wasn't enough to deny Kildare but the Exiles could make the return trip across the Irish Sea with their heads held high.
Scorers -- Kildare: D Mulhall 0-5 (3f), T Moolick, C Kelly, E Carew (1 '45', 1f) 0-2 each, P Dunne, P Meagher, T Archbold, C Murphy(f), E Hyland 0-1 each. Lancashire: M Molloy 1-3 (1-0 pen, 2f), L Coyne 1-1, S Sands (f), C Shields 0-1 each.
Kildare -- R Eyres; D McEvoy, C Fitzpatrick, R Walsh; M Kelly, J Doyle, J Browne; P Dunne, E Carew; J Lambe, T Moolick, C Kelly; D Mulhall, P Meagher, J Gately. Subs: T Archbold for Lambe (26), R O'Donoghue for Kane (45), C Murphy for Mulhalll (49), D Campbell for Meagher (57), E Hyland for Carew (59).
Lancashire -- J Sheehan; D Fitzpatrick, J Gibney, M Carey; A Kane, D Glennon, S Gallagher; R Gallagher, P Mulligan; M Molloy, S Sands, R Coss; C Shields, L Coyne, J O'Neill. Subs: J O'Hagan for Fitzpatrick (34), S Goldrick for Sands (44), R O'Donoghue for Kane (45), D Molloy for Coss (53).
Ref -- S Carroll (Westmeath).