Kildare registered their first win in almost a year when goals in either half from Daniel Flynn and Niall Kelly propelled them to a comfortable victory over Derry in their All-Ireland first round qualifier at Owenbeg.
Following his side's shock Leinster SFC quarter-final defeat to Carlow and a run of 13 games without a win since last year's Leinster final, Cian O'Neill's position as Kildare manager was in jeopardy, but the Lilywhites produced a big performance to secure their place in the bowl for Monday morning's second round draw.
A miserable year for Derry, who were relegated to Division 4 of the Allianz League last spring, ended with Mark Lynch being sent off following a melee in the 66th minute.
Shane McGuigan's fourth-minute goal gave the hosts a dream start, but a physically-strong Kildare hit back quickly with a fine individual goal from Flynn after Kevin Feely had made a great catch in midfield. And the Lilywhites were never headed after Paul Cribbin followed up two points in as many minutes.
Kildare lost their captain Eoin Doyle to a black card before Enda Lynn levelled proceedings, 2-3, to 1-6, with a powerful shot to the roof of the net. However, the visitors replied with points from Tommy Moolick, James Murray and Fergal Conway (two) to take a 1-12 to 2-7 lead into the break.
Following a double let-off at the start of the second half when Emmet Bradley and McGuigan were denied goals by last-gasp blocks, the Lilywhites took control by scoring an unanswered 1-3 in the space of seven minutes, with Kelly fising to the net from Keith Cribbin's pass.
David Hyland became the second Kildare player to receive a black card following his part in the late skirmish that saw Lynch red-carded for the Oak Leafers.
Kildare: M Donnellan (0-1, 1 '45); P Kelly, D Hyland, M O'Grady; J Murray (0-1), E Doyle, K Flynn; K Feely (0-2, 2f), T Moolick (0-2); F Conway (0-4), P Cribben (0-2), K Cribben (0-1); D Slattery (0-1), D Flynn (1-1), N Kelly (1-1). Subs: J Byrne (0-1) for E Doyle (15mins, BC), N Flynn (0-1) for K Feely (47mins), C Healy for K Cribben (59), M Hyland for D Hyland for (65, BC), E O'Connor for N Kelly (67), F Dowling for F Conway (71).
Derry: B McKinless, P McNeill, K Johnston, M McEvoy, L McGoldrick, C McKaigue, S L McGoldrick (0-1), C McAtamney, P Cassidy (0-1), J Doherty (0-1), E Bradley (0-5, 0-4 frees), P Coney, E Lynn (1-2), S McGuigan (1-1), M Lynch (0-1). Subs: J Kielt for S McGuigan, B Rogers for P McNeill, T O'Brien for C McAtamney (all half-time), C McWilliams for P Coney (42 mins), J Kielt for S McGuigan (51), M Bateson for L McGoldrick, (59), N Toner for S McGoldrick (71).
Referee: David Coldrick (Meath)Tweet