Kelly the Lilies hero
Kildare 1-15 Longford 0-12
Niall Kelly's goal just before half-time swung this tie at St Conleth's Park.
Players were helped by the absence of even a puff of wind but ground conditions hampered attempts to hop the ball, while handling was not what one would expect later in the year.
That possibly hindered the influence of the mark. There were two marks in the game, one in each half.
Fionn Dowling (right) caught the first but as he continued to play, was put off by the whistle of referee Barry Tiernan, instinctively presuming that a free had been awarded. In the confusion, he dropped the ball, though he did manage to regather.
In the 52nd minute, Barry O'Farrell availed of the opportunity to halt play and attempt to find a team-mate for the first time.
Apart from that, those in attendance would have been completely unaware that a new rule was in play.
Longford began with the first three points and in Robbie Smyth, had one of the best players on show.
He kicked three points from play and the returning Seanie McCormack added three from frees but when Kelly drilled a low shot beyond Paddy Collum on the half-hour, it helped Kildare recover and lead by 1-7 to 0-7 at the break.
Scorers - Kildare: F Dowling 0-5 (4fs); N Flynn, B McCormack, C Hartley 0-3 each; N Kelly 1-0; F Conway 0-1 Longford: R Smyth (1f), S McCormack (3fs) 0-5 each; P Collum ('45'), G Rogers 0-1 each.
Kildare - M Donnellan, P Kelly, D Hyland, M O'Grady, S Ryan, E Doyle, J Byrne, T Moolick, F Dowling, F Conway, C Hartley, K Cribbin, N Flynn, N Kelly, B McCormack. Subs: O Lyons for Byrne inj (ht), E Heavey for Cribbin (56), D Slattery for Conway (58), P Connell for Kelly (63), S Hurley for Flynn (69), E Callaghan for Slattery blood (70+1).
Longford - P Collum, P McGee, A Farrell, C Farrelly, B Gilleran, P McCormack, B McKeon, D Gallagher, B O'Farrell, L Sullivan, R Smyth, D Masterson, M Hughes, L Connerton, S McCormack. Subs: P Kiernan for Sullivan (ht), J McGivney for Masterson (49), G Rogers for Hughes (54), D Brady for McGee (62), J Keegan for McKeon (63), B O'Farrell for Connerton (63).
Ref - B Tiernan (Dublin)