KILDARE racked up a brace for the second week in-a-row when James Kavanagh and Morgan O'Flaherty found the target to help see off Louth 2-15 to 0-17 in Drogheda.
A scoreline that flatters Louth and a third victory in a row also indicated that the Lilies are finally getting their groove on. They needed a sharp blast of Kieran McGeeney's hairdryer at half-time after letting an early five-point lead slip to just the minimum (0-9 to 0-8). Within nine minutes the net shook, when Mikey Conway and John Doyle combined to find Kavanagh close to goal and the Ballymore man did the honours.
Twelve minutes later, defender Morgan O'Flaherty burst upfield and finished off a good move on the rebound.
That put Kildare 10 points clear but questions will be asked about why they then failed to score and conceded six points (five frees) in the final 15 minutes.
Tyrone's promising start to the season got even better at Tuam Stadium when they secured promotion back to the top flight with an impressive 1-14 to 0-13 win over Galway.
The gloss was taken off the win by a straight red card to corner-back PJ Quinn after an off-the-ball incident with Pádraic Joyce.
The key score came seven minutes after the break when Peter Harte was fouled by Keith Kelly before dispatching the penalty into the net.
The threat of relegation hangs over Meath after a 0-13 to 0-10 loss to Derry.
The mercurial Paddy Bradley was again central to Derry's success in Páirc Tailteann with four opening-half points, two from placed balls. The score was level on five different occasions in the first half before a Blaine Gormley '45' left the away side leading 0-7 to 0-6 at the break.
Derry opened up a three-point lead in the third quarter and that eventually extended to four, with Meath unable to claw back the deficit.
Scoring a massive 1-18 from play, Westmeath chalked up their second victory of this year's league campaign with a fully deserved 1-19 to 2-11 win against Monaghan in Mullingar yesterday.