Michael Corry reporting live from Croke Park.
Kildare battled hard but it was to no avail as Dublin swatted aside their challenge with an accomplished second-half performance.
Cian O’Neill’s men gave Dublin everything they had throughout an entertaining first half before going in at half-time just four points behind and full of hope.
However, they coughed up four goal chances in total while at the other end Cormac Costello and Paul Mannion hit 0-16 between in.
Here are our conclusions as Dublin qualify for another Leinster SFC Final where they will take on Meath.
Kildare Battled Hard
More often than not we are used to watching Dublin blow sides away in the opening half of a game and they threatened to do so when they went 0-7 to 0-1 in front, however, Kildare refused to wilt, they kept going at Dublin and ended the first half just four points behind.
Kildare Full-Forward’s Caused Dublin Problems
Full-forward, Ben McCormack, hit back-to-back beauties when Kildare trailed by six early on. It was the catalyst they needed to stay within touching distance of Dublin.
He did miss a gilt-edged goal chance in the second half but overall he had a stellar game.
Adam Tyrrell also caused problems for Dublin kicking 0-3 in the first half including two magnificent points from play.
Dublin’s Defence Doesn’t Get Enough Credit
They coughed up three goal chances but they conceded zero. That tells you everything you need to know. This Dublin defence, Cluxton to McCaffrey is as clinical as their forward division.
John Small’s hit on Cian O’Donoghue when a fourth goal chance looked on summed up the steeliness of Dublin’s defence.
Year Of The Costello
For so many years viewed as the player who would get on any team, just not Dublin’s, Costello has been a driving force behind their success this season and looks a dead cert to hold onto a starting XV jersey throughout their run for five-in-a-row.
He finished with 0-9. We could be looking at the Player of the Year.
Feely At Full-Forward
Kildare tried rotating Kevin Feely in and out of full-forward. It didn’t seem to work too often but they maybe should have tried it for a more sustained period such was the dominance he showed in the air around the middle.
A Rolls Royce of a footballer, Feely would get in the Dublin team, he is that good.
Paul Mannion’s Hot Streak Continues
Dublin fans will have been buoyed by Mannion’s red card being rescinded and he returned with aplomb today kicking two gorgeous first-half scores as well as putting in a mountain of work around the pitch.
He continued in his rich vein of form in the second half, outlining just why he’s one of the game’s greatest forwards at present.
Mannion finished the day with 0-7.
Tigerish Chris Healy
A late replacement for Kildare, Chris Healy found himself all over the pitch from half-back to full-forward. He chased, he harried, he tackled, basically, he left it all out there for Kildare’s cause.
Stephen Cluxton, 100 Not Out
It’s 100 championship appearances for Stephen Cluxton who doesn’t seem to have lost a step. He made a smart save at a crucial juncture in the opening half and found a Dublin jersey with nearly all his kick-outs.
Kildare Can Give Anyone A Game
Much-maligned due to their inconsistency, Kildare seemed up for it today and it clearly fed into their performance which was quite good. Unfortunately for them, Dublin are just a cut above the rest.
No team will want to take on Cian O’Neill’s men in the qualifiers.
Dublin’s Unselfishness A Joy To Watch
In a team as great as this with players on the bench as great as they are it’s amazing how unselfish this Dublin side are in their play. Nobody ever takes on a shot that they are not 100% certain of scoring and nine times out of ten the ball is always given to whoever is in the best position.
Dublin Punish Mistakes
You have to take your chances against this Dublin side because they punish every mistake you make. Kildare missed three goal chances. Had they stuck those in the back of the net it could have been different.
Ben McCormack had a promising opportunity snuffed out midway through the second half. His hand pass was blocked down and 10 seconds later Costello was kicking a point at the other end. Clinical.
How The Hell Do You Beat Dublin?
We still don’t know!
Dublin XV: Stephen Cluxton (c); David Byrne, Michael Fitzsimons, John Small; James McCarthy, Cian O’Sullivan, Jack McCaffrey; Brian Fenton, Michael Darragh MacAuley; Niall Scully, Cormac Costello, Brian Howard; Ciarán Kilkenny, Con O’Callaghan, Paul Mannion.
Substitutes: Paddy Small for Michael Darragh MacAuley, Philly McMahon for Cian O’Sullivan, Eoin Murchan for Jack McCaffrey, Darren Gavin for Ciarán Kilkenny, Paddy Andrews for Con O’Callaghan, Rory O’Carroll for Michael Fitzsimons
Kildare XV: Mark Donnellan; Mark Dempsey, Mick O’Grady, David Hyland; Peter Kelly, Eoin Doyle (c), Keith Cribbin; Kevin Feely, Tommy Moolick; David Slattery, Chris Healy, Fergal Conway; Adam Tyrrell, Den McCormack, Neil Flynn.
Substitutes: Kevin O’Callaghan for Neil Flynn, Cian O’Donoghue for Tommy Moolick, Jimmy Hyland for Chris Healy, Eoghan O’Flaherty for Keith Cribben, Conor Hartley for David Slattery