Grealish stop turns the tide for Exiles
London 1-21 Kildare 0-18
PATIENT London held their nerve before a final-quarter surge overcame Kildare in Ruislip.
In glorious conditions, the Exiles registered their first league win of the year despite trailing by four points at the interval.
The visitors controlled the lion's share of possession and territory in the first half, but crucially failed to convert a penalty that might have seen them go in at half-time seven points ahead.
Galway native John Grealish saved that bullet strike from Richie Hoban to keep the home side in the contest, but it wasn't until the third quarter that the Exiles hit top gear.
Two points down, centre-forward Martin Duggan capitalised on an error by Kildare goalkeeper Paddy McKenna to strike to the net.
London then added scores from Offaly native Eoin Kelly – the game's standout player – Duggan again and Clare's Henry Vaughan.
From there, London kept their foot on the gas to the finish, and it was bitter pill to swallow for Kildare manager Brian Lawlor.
"I'm very disappointed," he said. "London brought greater intensity to the second half and we just couldn't match it."
scorers – London: S Lambert 0-9 (5fs, 1 '65'), M Duggan 1-3, H Vaughan, E Kelly 0-3 each, M Lynch, D Moore, P Phelan 0-1 each Kildare: W Greene 0-9 (5fs), R Casey, G Keegan 0-3 each, P Divilly 0-2, M Fitzgerald 0-1.
London – J Grealish 8; C McAlinden 8, R Foy 7, C Hickey 7; E Cooney 7, B Regan 7, PJ Rowe 6; D Moore 7, D Egan 6; S Lambert 8, M Duggan 8, K Coen 6; H Vaughan 7, E Kelly, 8, L Hands 6. Subs: M Lynch 7 for Rowe (h-t), P Phelan 7 for Coen (h-t), K Walsh 6 for Hands (51).
Kildare – P McKenna 6; P Colman 6, J Doran 7, N O Muineachain 7; E O'Neill 7, M Moloney 7, R Hoban 7; W Greene 8, M Fitzgerald 7; B Deay 6, J O'Malley 7, P Divilly 7; R Casey 8, T Murphy 6, G Keegan 8. Subs: M Delaney 6 for Deay (64).
Ref – D O'Driscoll (Limerick).