All Ireland SFC Qualifiers: Kildare continue to impress
All Ireland SFC Round Four Qualifier
KILDARE 3-20 FERMANAGH 0-18
By Paul Keane at Pairc Tailteann
Revitalised Kildare burned off Fermanagh at their ease in Navan to secure a golden ticket to the new All-Ireland football quarter-final group stage.
Cian O'Neill's side found themselves in a difficult position after losing to Carlow in the Leinster Championship, but have since navigated all four rounds of the qualifiers.
They claimed a memorable Round 3 win over Mayo in Newbridge last weekend, but according to the manager, this was an even more complete performance as they shrugged off the Ulster finalists.
Goalscorers Neil and Daniel Flynn weighed in with 2-8 between them at Pairc Tailteann while sub Chris Healy added a brilliant chipped goal in the 75th minute.
Their reward is the guarantee of three games in the new group stage, the first of those being against Laois or Monaghan at Croke Park next weekend.
Rory Gallagher's Fermanagh hoped to bounce back from their Ulster final loss to Donegal with a big win, but conceded the game's opening score after two minutes and trailed from there on.
Daniel Flynn scored Kildare's first goal in the seventh minute and even at that early stage they led 1-3 to 0-1 in front of 7,400 spectators.
Kildare played with a visible confidence in those opening stages and opened up Fermanagh's defence impressively with Kevin Feely stationed at full-forward for a period and pinching a point.
Feely delivered an inch perfect long fist pass to Daniel Flynn late in the half as the Johnstownbridge man closed out the scoring to make it 1-13 to 0-5 at half-time.
Fermanagh got the first two scores of the second-half through Seamus Quigley and Ruairi Corrigan but needed goals and they never arrived.
Kildare, in contrast, got a second when Neil Flynn finished off a brilliant move involving Tommy Moolick and Eoin Doyle.
Fermanagh fell 14 points behind at one stage before reeling off six points in a row to cut the margin to eight at 2-18 to 0-16.
O'Neill may perhaps blame their loss of shape and intensity in this period on taking off players like the Flynns and Feely, with one eye on next weekend's encounter.
But points from sub Healy and Paddy Brophy settled Kildare before Healy scored a brilliant goal five minutes into injury-time when he lobbed the 'keeper with a wonderful left footed effort.
*Scorers for Kildare: *Neil Flynn 1-5 (3fs), Daniel Flynn 1-3, Chris Healy 1-2, Kevin Flynn 0-2, Paddy Brophy 0-2, Keith Cribbin 0-1, Paul Cribbin 0-1, Tommy Moolick 0-1, Kevin Feely 0-1, Peter Kelly 0-1, Fergal Conway 0-1.
Scorers for Fermanagh: Seamus Quigley 0-7 (0-6f), Sean Quigley 0-3, Tomas Corrigan 0-2, Ryan Jones 0-2, Ruairi Corrigan 0-1, Declan McCusker 0-1, Barry Mulrone 0-1, James McMahon 0-1.
KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Peter Kelly, Mick O'Grady, David Hyland; Johnny Byrne, Eoin Doyle, Kevin Flynn; Keith Cribbin, Tommy Moolick; Fergal Conway, Paul Cribbin, Paddy Brophy; Neil Flynn, Kevin Feely, Daniel Flynn.
Subs: Fionn Dowling for Moolick (44), Chris Healy for Feely (46), Niall Kelly for P Cribbin (49), David Slattery for K Cribbin (52), Eamonn Callaghan for D Flynn (55), Mark Hyland for N Flynn (63).
FERMANAGH: Patrick Cadden; Che Cullen, Lee Cullen, Michael Jones; Barry Mulrone, Declan McCusker, Aidan Breen; Eoin Donnelly, Tom Clarke; Daniel Teague, Ryan Jones, James McMahon; Ruairi Corrigan, Seamus Quigley, Conall Jones.
Subs: Kane Connor for Teague (24), Tomas Corrigan for Breen (32), Ryan Lyons for C Jones (36), Paul McCusker for Clarke (43), Sean Quigley for R Corrigan (46), Conor Magee for Mulrone (59).
REFEREE: Conor Lane (Cork).