First-half goals see off Kildare
Louth 2-11 Kildare 0-8
James Califf was the start of the show as Louth recorded their first win of the O'Byrne Cup in convincing fashion at Hawkfield.
The visitors inflicted most of the damage in the first half, pouncing for two goals from Califf and Barry Flanagan to lead by 2-5 to 0-5 at half-time, despite having played into the strong wind and heavy rain.
They controlled proceedings well in the second half and it took Kildare 25 minutes to record their first score of the second half, via Eddie Heavey.
Heavey might have had a goal from the very first attack of the game but it was Louth who found the net, as Califf produced a wonderful finish for a 10th-minute goal.
Flanagan pounced 15 minutes later after full-back Luke Flynn failed to deal with a difficult high ball, and with Califf adding four points - including a superbly-struck '45 into the wind - Colin Kelly's charges were in control.
Louth pulled clear thanks to four more points from Califf, who finished with a tally of 1-8 and were worthy victors.
Both teams finished with 14 men after Eoin Powderly and Ronan Holdcroft were shown red cards.
Scorers - Louth: J Califf 1-8 (4fs, 1 '45); B Flanagan 1-0; R Holdcroft 0-2 (1f); J McEneaney 0-1.
Kildare: R Cahill 0-4(fs); M Conway, E Callaghan, E Heavey, C McNally 0-1 each
Louth - C Lynch; P Rath, D Finn, K Toner; D Maguire, E Lafferty, K McLoughlin; J Califf, T Durnin; D Byrne, C McKeever, Cathal Bellew; A Reid, B Flanagan, R Holdcroft. Subs: J McEneaney for Flanagan BC (43), G McSorley for McLoughlin (48), D McMahon for Bellew (55), M Rafferty for McKeever (67), Ciaran Bellew for Maguire (68).
Kildare - C Heeney; E Powderly, L Flynn, O Lyons; S McNally, E Bolton, K Murnaghan; Daryl Flynn, M Byrne; P O'Neill, M Conway, E Heavey; E Callaghan, R Kelly, R Cahill. Subs: Daniel Flynn for Daryl Flynn BC (29), R Houlihan for Murnaghan (46), C McNally for O'Neill (46), É O'Connor for Conway (50), P Kelly for L Flynn (55), F Dowling for Callaghan (57.)
Ref - S Culhair