Donegal put Kildare to the sword to return to Division 1 of the Allianz Football League with some ease in in Fr Tierney Park, Ballyshannon.

Led superbly by Michael Murphy, they never looked in trouble against a Kildare side that seemed to lack confidence.

Donegal took advantage of the strong wind in the opening half and the Lilywhites  played most of the second period with 14 men after losing Kevin Flynn to a red card.

They were 0-13 to 0-1 ahead when Paddy Neilan sounded the half-time whistle with eight different scorers in a dominant first half.

Just like in Cork, Jamie Brennan had the opening point with just over a minute on the clock. After that the scores flowed. By the 11th minute Niall O'Donnell, Oisin Gallen, O'Donnell again, Murphy (45) and a free had stretched the lead out to 0-6 to no score.

Kildare had a chance but a Kevin Feely point came back off an upright. The Lilywhites recorded four first-half wides as well, and all at the same post at the Rock Hospital end of the ground.

The impressive Oisin Gallen, Hugh McFadden and Jason McGee added to the Donegal lead before Kildare's only point of the half when Neil Flynn converted a free in the 24th minute.

Donegal kept up the pressure and further points from Niall O'Donnell (with his left), Gallen, Dáire Ó Baoill and Ryan McHugh put the Donegal men into a 12-point interval lead.

It got worse for Kildare at the start of the second half as they lost Eoin Doyle to a black card and then Kevin Flynn picked up another black, followed by a red, as he was yellow-carded in the first half.

They did get the first point of the new half from Paddy Brophy but Donegal hit back with points from Oisin Gallen and Michael Murphy. Adam Tyrell and Ryan McHugh traded points before Jason McGee put Jamie Brennan through and he found the Kildare net on 47 minutes to stretch the lead to 1-16 to 0-4.

Kildare did get a few points thanks to substitute Adam Tyrell, but Jason McGee fisted one for Donegal at the other end.

Neil McGee was introduced to equal the Donegal appearances record of Colm McFadden on 173.

Ryan McHugh first-timed the 18th point for Donegal before Adam Tyrell had his fourth of the half.

There were a few other big cheers as well with the return of Frank McGlynn for his first game of the year while Murphy powered over a point against the wind with a minute left.

It was a comfortable victory for Donegal as they go back to Division 1 for next season.

Donegal: Shaun Patton; Paddy McGrath, Brendan McCole, Stephen McMenamin; Eoghan Bán Gallagher, Leo McLoone, Dáire Ó Baoill (0-01); Hugh McFadden (0-01), Jason McGee (0-02); Niall O'Donnell (0-03), Ryan McHugh (0-03), Caolan McGonagle (0-01); Oisin Gallen (0-04), Michael Murphy (0-04,2f,45), Jamie Brennan (1-01).

Subs: Neil McGee for McCole 57; Eoin McHugh for Ó Baoill 61; Paul Brennan for Gallen 63; Frank McGlynn for Leo McLoone 67; Caolan Ward for R McHugh 69

Kildare: Mark Donnellan; David Hyland, Mick O'Grady, Kevin Flynn; Cian O'Donoghue (0-01), Eoin Doyle, Peter Kelly; Kevin Feely, Tommy Moolick; Fergal Conway, Paddy Brophy (0-02,2f), Keith Cribbin; Neil Flynn (0-01,f), Chris Healy, Jimmy Hyland (0-02).

Subs: Adam Tyrell (0-04,1f) for K Cribbin ht; James Murray for F Conway 67; Aaron Masters for N Flynn 52; Tony Archbold for Brophy 57; Mark Barrett for O'Donoghue 62

Referee: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon)