David Slattery came off the bench to bag two goals and send Kildare three points clear at the top of Division 2. Slattery, introduced at half-time, netted with his first contribution in the 37th minute and struck again to seal the result as Kildare took a giant step towards promotion.
his was a setback for Down, who could have moved into the promotion frame themselves; after using all six subs, the home side finished with 13 players when defender Darren O'Hagan went off injured and sub Jerome Johnston was black-carded.
Kildare were the better outfit as Down, despite a couple of fine points from Caolan Mooney, were outclassed in the second half. The visitors had the wind behind them in the first half but led by just 0-4 to 0-3 at the break.
The Lilywhites, however, had a big second half performance in them as Kevin Feely landed a free, then combined with Daniel Flynn to set up Slattery, who finished low into the corner. The impish forward was at it again in the 50th minute, collecting Niall Kelly's handpass before slotting home.
Scorers - Kildare: D Slattery 2-0, K Feely 0-5f, M Donnellan (45), O Lyons, P Cribbin, T Moolick 0-1 each. Down: D O'Hanlon 0-4f, C Mooney & B O'Hagan 0-2 each, K McKernan & J Johnston 0-1 each.
Kildare: M Donnellan; M O'Grady, D Hyland, O Lyons; J Byrne, E Doyle, K Cribbin; K Feely, T Moolick; F Conway, N Kelly, P Cribbin; C McNally, D Flynn, C Hartley. Subs: D Slattery for McNally (h-t), F Dowling for Hartley (54), É Callaghan for Slattery (65), E Heavey for Moolick (68), S Ryan for Conway (70), L Healy for Doyle (70+5).
Down: M Cunningham; R McAleenan, B McArdle, D O'Hagan; D O'Hanlon, C McGovern, C Mooney; A Carr, P Turley; K McKernan, C Maginn, J Murphy; S Millar, B O'Hagan, R Johnston. Subs: A Davidson for Johnston (55), N Donnelly for Carr (57), J Johnston for Davidson (b/c 63), M Poland for Maginn (66), S Dornan for Millar (69), C Magee for Turley (69).
Referee: N Cullen (Fermanagh).
Sunday Indo Sport