Galway realised their spring objective registering a win to earn a return to Division One of the Allianz Football League.
An experimental Kildare outfit caused Galway problems in the west, but Kevin Walsh’s developing side did just enough to secure the spoils.
The teams will collide again in the Division Two decider next Sunday which offers another competitive fixture ahead of the Championship.
Despite making 14 changes from the team that defeated Clare last Sunday, a new look Kildare still performed adequately in the opening period.
Fionn Dowling, outstanding at centrefield, kicked three sweet first half points from play for Kildare, who only trailed by 0-7 to 0-4 at the break.
Galway offered glimpses of their ability with Tom Flynn, Sean Armstrong, Shane Walsh, and Johnny Heaney rifling over splendid efforts for the Tribesmen, who led by three at the turnaround.
By the 45th minute Galway’s advantage had been extended to five, 0-11 to 0-6, following a decent burst which included scores from Eamonn Brannigan, Armstrong, and Paul Conroy.
Kildare, who introduced a few regulars, continued to battle with David Hyland and Cathal McNally trimming the gap.
Galway responded once more with the pacy duo Walsh and Brannigan kicking excellent points as Galway led 0-13 to 0-8 with 15 minutes remaining.
The Lilywhites struck four points in a row with Niall Kelly (2) and Dowling (2) finding the range with Galway under severe pressure.
Walsh burst through to land a vital score for Galway, but the effective McNally narrowed the gap again for the spirited visitors.
It was a tense finale in Salthill for the bumper home crowd, but Galway will join Kildare in the top flight next year.
Scorers for Galway: Shane Walsh 0-3, Eamonn Brannigan, Sean Armstrong, Gary Sice (2fs) and Barry McHugh (2fs) 0-2 each, Paul Conroy, Johnny Heaney, and Tom Flynn 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kildare: Fionn Dowling 0-5 (1f), Ben McCormack, Cathal McNally, and Niall Kelly 0-2 each, David Hyland, and Eamonn Callaghan 0-1 each.
GALWAY: Ruairi Lavelle; David Wynne, David Walsh, Cathal Sweeney; Gary O’Donnell, Michael Farragher, Johnny Heaney; Paul Conroy, Fiontan O’Curraoin; Gary Sice, Shane Walsh, Tom Flynn; Eamonn Brannigan, Barry McHugh, Sean Armstrong.
Subs: Micheal Lundy for Gary Sice (57), Ian Burke for Barry McHugh (63), Liam Silke for Michael Farragher (67).
KILDARE: Shane McNamara; Darren Maguire, Mark Hyland, Liam Healy; Peter Kelly, Shea Ryan, Emmet Bolton; Fionn Dowling, Paschal Connell; Eddie Heavey, Conor Hartley, Con Kavanagh; Cathal McNally, Eamonn Callaghan, Ben McCormack.
Subs: David Hyland for Peter Kelly (24, BC), Keith Cribbin for Emmet Bolton (40), Niall Kelly for Ben McCormack (50), Paul Cribbin for Eddie Heavey (52), Kevin Feely for Paschal Connell (56, BC), David Slattery for Conor Hartley (63).
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