Kildare's second-half power play against Longford sets up Leinster SFC semi-final date with Dublin
Kildare 1-18 Longford 0-10
A powerful third quarter performance laid the ground work for Kildare to advance past Longford and secure a date with Dublin in Croke Park on Sunday.
Cian O’Neill’s men had struggled in front of goal in the first half but found their shooting boots after the interval to run out convincing winners in front of 4,326 spectators in Tullamore’s O’Connor Park.
They outscored Longford by 0-10 to 0-3 in that period and Longford, who managed just four points from play all afternoon couldn’t muster a response as the Lilies secured an eighth Leinster semi final appearance in nine years.
The first half was a forgettable affair. The teams didn’t manage a score until the 18th minute when David McGivney converted a free for Longford but Kildare grabbed the game's only goal just seconds later when Fergal Conway’s powerful run saw him hit the net via the underside of the crossbar.
Kildare will feel they should have goaled before that when Jimmy Hyland was put through but he hesitated at the crucial moment and the chance was gone. Hyland had earlier missed a close range free while David Slattery also failed to hit the target when put through on goal by Ben McCormack. The Lilies ran up nine wides by the half time whistle.
McGivney landed Longford’s first point from play on 28 minutes before a brilliant Joseph Hagan effort from out near the sideline saw Longford trail by a goal, 1-4 to 0-4, at the interval.
Kildare’s power surge came after the interval and with Ben McCormack, Adam Tyrrell and Neil Flynn - who had placed the injured Hyland in the first half - in good form Kildare proved too much to handle for Longford who now head for the qualifiers.
SCORERS - Kildare: N Flynn 0-5 (4f), F Conway 1-1, A Tyrrell (2f), T Moolick 0-3 each, B McCormack 0-2, P Brophy, D Slattery, N Kelly, K Cribbin 0-1 each. Longford: D McGivney 0-5 (4f), M Quinn 0-2 (2f), A Farrell, D Quinn, J Hagan 0-1 each.
Kildare: M Donnellan; M Dempsey, M O’Grady, D Hyland; P Kelly, E Doyle, K Cribbin; K Feely, F Conway; D Slattery, P Brophy, T Moolick; A Tyrrell, B MCormack, J Hyland SUBS: N Flynn for Hyland (23 inj), N Kelly for Feely (56), C McNally for McCormack (59), E O’Flaherty for Brophy (62), C Healy for Slattery (64), K O’Callaghan for Tyrrell (67).
Longford: P Collum; P Fox, D McElligott, B O’Farrell; Colm P Smyth, P McCormack, D Quinn; J Keegan, D McGivney; G Rogers, B McKeon, M Quinn; D Mimnagh, J McGivney, D Doherty SUBS: A Farrell for McKeon (20 inj), J Hagan for Doherty (31), A McElligott for Rogers (51), M Hughes for Keegan (57).
Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone).