Derry hurlers not left feeling too low after Kerry loss
Kerry 1-20 - 0-12 Derry
Tom McLean took the positives from Christy Ring Cup final defeat and admitted that, in a strange way, Kerry's win could yet prove an inspiration to his Derry players.
In their first ever tier two final, McLean's men came up well short with just three points delivered from play over the 70 minutes, an indication of where their shortcomings chiefly lay.
Kerry, in truth, weren't at their best either and came nowhere close to repeating their heroics of a week earlier when they dethroned holders Kildare with a 36-point win.
That was partly down to Derry's stout defending and their decision to deploy a sweeper which worked to a large degree. With 11 minutes to go, there was still just six points in the game and Mikey Boyle, the scorer of 4-1 against Kildare, had been held scoreless and substituted.
But Derry simply couldn't conjure enough scores at the other end of the field to make Kerry pay.
Patrick Kelly hit back to back points around the hour mark and Kerry would add would four more in the closing 10 minutes to win with plenty to spare.
Their reward is Liam MacCarthy Cup hurling in 2016 alongside the qualifier teams in Leinster.
Derry will redouble their own efforts and attack the Ulster hurling championship in under a fortnight. They play Donegal in their opening game at Celtic Park. Manager McLean believes that long-term they can replicate the heroics of Kerry and claim the Ring Cup title.
"Look, we lost a final. But Kerry lost a final last year and they've come back and won it. I would absolutely be thinking that we can come back next year and win the Christy Ring, now that we have a taste for it," said McLean
Derry lost Paddy McCloskey to a serious knee injury just six minutes into the contest. They held their own for 22 minutes or so but 1-4 from Kerry in the run up to half-time was decisive and the Kingdom led 1-10 to 0-8.
Shane Nolan grabbed the 30th minute goaland helped himself to 1-8 overall.
Kerry: S Murphy; R Horgan, P Costelloe, B Murphy; K Carmody (0-3), D Dineen, D Collins (0-1); J Griffin, P Kelly (0-2); M O'Leary (0-3), J Egan (0-1), C Harty (0-2); M Boyle, S Nolan (1-8, 7f), P Boyle.
Subs: J O'Neill for P Boyle (43), D Butler for O'Leary (50), S Weir for M Boyle (59), J Flaherty for Harty (63), D Fitzell for Dineen (69).
Derry: D McDermott; M Warnock, C Quinn, S McCullagh; L Hinphey (0-1), C McSorley, K Hinphey; S McGuigan, B Quigley; P Henry (0-4, 4f), P Cleary, P McCloskey; A Grant (0-1), R Convery (0-5, 5f), A Kelly.
Subs: N Ferris for McCloskey (6), D Flanagan for Quigley (31), J O'Dwyer (0-1) for Cleary (40), R McCloskey for McSorley (57), M Conway for Grant (60).
Referee: J Keane (Galway).