Kildare powered their way to a huge 20-point win over poor Wicklow opposition at Aughrim.
The Lilywhites had three talented and clinical forwards in Eoin O'Hehir on the wing and lethal corner-forwards Evan Dempsey and Brian Byrne, who together ripped Wicklow's last line of defence apart.
Kildare led by 2-2 after just eight minutes as O'Hehir and Evan Dempsey both notched up the first of their hat-tricks of goals and at that early stage Wicklow were in serious trouble indeed.
Kildare had the wind behind them in the first half and went on to build up a commanding 5-6 to 1-3 lead at the break and at that stage Wicklow had a mountain to climb.
Midfielder Padraig Doran was Wicklow's best player and he gave some faint hope to the home team after the restart as he fired over some sweet points from frees, but further Kildare goals from full-forward Niall Kenny, Byrne and Dempsey killed off this game.
Scorers – Kildare: E Dempsey 3-2, E O'Hehir 3-1, B Byrne 1-3 (1 '65 1f), N Kenny 1-0, J Reeves 0-2, T Forde, P Moran 0-1 each. Wicklow: P Doran 0-8 (1 '65, 6fs), E McCormack 1-0, J Cranley 0-2, C Lambert 0-1.
Kildare – S Nolan; N Connolly, K Maher, S Ryan; J Hill, D Casey, D Keane; E Doddy, J Reeves; E O'Neil, P Moran, T Forde; E Dempsey, N Kenny, B Byrne. Subs: C Gordon for B Byrne (46), C Graham for E O'Hehir (46), B Kilkenny for J Hill (55), D Walsh for S Ryan (55), E Dunne for E Dempsey
Wicklow – R Fitzgerald; J Walsh, S O'Callaghan, S Cruise; A Hughes, A Byrne, S Hughes; J Manley, P Doran; D Brennan, M Thompson, J Cranley; W Kinsella, D Staunton, E McCormack. Subs: D Nolan for D Brennan (27), B McCormack for E. McCormack (37), C Lambert for J Manley (40), M Gilbert for S Hughes (51), D O Midheach for M Thompson.
Ref – B O'Leary (Wexford)