Lilies hand Cian the ideal start
Kildare keep up impressive record with DIT victory
Kildare have a good record in the Bord na Móna O'Byrne Cup in recent years, with three successes already this decade and appearing in the last five finals.
On the evidence of yesterday's 0-24 to 1-7 win over DIT, they stand a good chance of getting back to the knockout stages and perhaps adding to their 11 victories.
Kildare had far too much firepower for the students. Adam Tyrrell scored nine points and Eoghan O'Flaherty contributed six as Kildare gave new manager Cian O'Neill a comfortable start to his tenure at St Conleth's Park.
Tyrrell had six points in an outstanding first half and though former Lilywhite Tomás O'Connor almost had a goal early on and Conor Madden did find the net after Liam Healy misjudged the flight of a delivery in the 19th minute, the hosts were full value for a 0-11 to 1-4 interval lead.
DIT weren't helped by the indiscipline of Neil Collins, who deservedly picked up two yellow cards in the space of three minutes and left his team at a numerical disadvantage for the last 25 minutes plus extra time.
Kildare were in control by then anyway, with O'Flaherty pulling the strings and unerring from placed balls, while Daniel Flynn looked full of energy. Flynn scored three points from midfield, while the former AFL man also shuddered the crossbar with a left-foot rocket.
Once Collins received his marching orders from Stephen Johnson, it was one-way traffic, and Kildare scored the last nine points thanks to O'Flaherty, Seamus Hanafin, Ray Cahill, Fionn Dowling, Tyrrell and Flynn.
O'Neill emptied his bench in the final quarter and among those that came on was Kerry native Éanna O'Connor, son of All-Ireland winning manager Jack, who plays his club football with Moorefield.
Meath were impressive in their 1-18 to 1-04 win over Carlow at Netwatch Cullen Park.
The Royals trailed by 0-3 to 0-2 early on, but fired seven unanswered points to lead by 0-9 to 0-3 at half-time.
The visitors scored all bar one point of their first-half tally from play, and moved 1-10 to 0-03 clear early on the restart.
Benny Kavanagh netted for Carlow in the 47th minute, but Meath had done enough.
A 62nd-minute point from Rory O'Connor saw Laois earn a 1-10 to 1-9 win over UCD at Park/Ratheniska.
This game was tight throughout, with UCD shading a 0-6 to 0-4 interval scoreline.
The contest upped in intensity on the restart, with UCD pushing 1-7 to 0-4 ahead thanks to a goal from Offaly's Luke Kelly.
Laois stormed back thanks to an Jamie Farrell goal, with the game tight in the closing stages, before O'Connor's late winner.
Westmeath worked hard to claim a 1-14 to 0-13 away win over Wicklow in Bray Emmets.
The visitors led by 0-9 to 0-6 at half-time, but moved five points clear on the restart thanks to a John Connellan goal and never looked back.
Offaly were 0-13 to 1-9 winners over Louth in Drogheda. The hosts bagged the only goal of the game from Jim McEnaney inside three minutes of the restart.
DCU claimed a 3-20 to 2-6 win over fellow students IT Carlow. DCU led by 1-6 to 0-5 at half-time, but turned it up a gear in the second half.
Robbie Smyth and David McGivney bagged five points each as Longford claimed a 0-18 to 1-9 win over Maynooth University in Ballymahon.
Longford led throughout, with Laois's Evan O'Carroll netting the games only goal in the 23rd minute for the students.