Derry marched on in the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers this afternoon as Kildare were swatted away in a 1-17 to 0-11 defeat at Celtic Park.
Derry captain Johnny McBride grabbed the game’s only goal in the 29th-minute when Ciaran Mullan picked out the midfielder who turned and left-footed beyond Kildare keeper Enda Murphy
Points from Jim Kelly and Paddy Bradley helped the Oak Leafers to a 1-07 to 0-07 interval lead. Kildare hit 12 wides during the 70 minutes and never built on the foundations of a lively start.
Padraig O'Neill and Tadhg Fennin raised white flags to give Kildare hope for the second half, but the Lilywhites could only add four more points, two from O'Neill, their best player on the day.
Without the presence of the injured Dermot Earley (foot) in midfield, Kildare, backed by a strong breeze in the first half, switched to a direct style of football.
Young Tomas O'Connor offered himself as a target man and the visitors were finding holes in the Derry defence in the early stages. Two points from Johnny Doyle – a free and a '45 – squeezed them into an early lead.
Mark Lynch replied for the Oak Leafers, who were back on terms in the ninth-minute when Kelly landed a score with the rain beginning to sheet down.
The teams were still level by the 21st-minute at 0-04 apiece. O'Neill added Kildare's fifth soon after but Derry went through a purple patch over the remaining 15 minutes, ending the first half very much on a high. Kildare, despite late points from O'Neill and substitute Tadhg Fennin, looked disjointed and lacking in belief, hitting seven wides to Derry’s two.
Points from Gavin Donaghy, Bradley and Kelly pushed Paddy Crozier's men into a 0-07 to 0-05 lead and McBride’s goal confirmed the home side’s sudden dominance.
Bradley and Mullan added points for Derry early in the second half, warding off a Kildare comeback. James Kavanagh did point for the Leinster outfit, but a couple of wides from the normally reliable Doyle had Kildare heads dropping.
Goal chances fell to both Fennin, who flicked a shot just wide of Barry Gillis' left post, and O'Neill – neither were taken as Fergal Doherty (with his fist) and Eoin Bradley grabbed notable overs for the hosts.
Paddy Bradley kicked a free from distance for his sixth point of the afternoon to confirm Derry's passage through. The victory was topped off with the appearance of star defender Sean Marty Lockhart off the bench – the Banagher man was struggling recently with a hamstring injury.
Derry: B Gillis; K McGuckin, K McCloy, J O'Kane; F McEldowney, M Lynch (0-01), F Crossan; F Doherty (0-01), J McBride (capt) (1-00); J Diver (0-01), J Kelly (0-03), G Donaghy (0-01); C Mullan (0-02 (1f)), P Bradley (0-06 (2f)), E Bradley (0-01).
Subs used: G Diamond for Donaghy, SM Lockhart for Lynch, R Convery (0-01) for Diver.
Kildare: E Murphy (capt); A McLoughlin, K O'Neill, M Hogarty; M Foley, J Divilly, A Rainbow; K Brennan, P Hurley; J Doyle (0-03 (1 '45, 2f)), J Kavanagh (0-02), R Sweeney; T Archbold, T O'Connor, P O'Neill (0-05).
Subs used: T Fennin (0-01) for Sweeney (blood), Sweeney for Hurley, M Fitzharris for Fennin (blood), Fennin for Archbold, E Callaghan for Rainbow, P Mullarkey (blood) for Sweeney.
Referee: Michael Daly (Mayo).