Kerry 1-15 Derry 0-15
Kerry won their 19th NFL title with an uninspiring three points win over Derry in the Division One final in front of a crowd of 20,545 at Croke Park.
In a repeat of last season’s decider, the Kingdom gained revenge over the reigning champions, with Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper hitting six points.
It was Donnacha Walsh who laid the platform with a ninth minute goal, and Jack O’Connor’s side never trailed after that point.
Paddy Bradley and Chris McKaigue shot Derry into a two points lead, but Kerry’s first score, on nine minutes, was Walsh’s goal.
He finished with precision from Micheal Quirke’s knockdown, Kieran Donaghy the provider from wide on the right.
Tomas O Se, Declan O’Sullivan and Colm Cooper, with a brilliant effort, eased the Kingdom into a two points lead, but converted frees from the Bradley brothers, Paddy and Eoin, and Mark Lynch, had the sides level by the 23rd minute.
But the Oak Leafers suffered a blow when Paddy Bradley was forced out of the game by injury, but they were just a point adrift at the break, after Paul Murphy and Eoin Bradley had responded to scores from Cooper and Tommy Walsh.
Kerry took a 1-7 to 0-9 advantage into the interval, and stretched it out to three with scores from Cooper and O Se.
But a couple of Mark Lynch frees kept Derry very much in touch as the game entered its final 10 minutes.
Kerry turned up the tempo again, and that man Cooper added a couple more to his tally, with substitute Brian Sheehan converting three frees.
Derry kept plugging away, with points from Seamus Bradley and Eoin Bradley, but they were unable to repeat last season’s dramatic comeback.
Kerry: D Murphy, P Reidy, T O’Sullivan, K Young, T O Se (0-2), A O’Mahony (0-1), T Griffin, A Maher, M Quirke, D Walsh (1-0), Declan O’Sullivan (0-1), Darren O’Sullivan, C Cooper (0-6, 3f) , K Donaghy, T Walsh (0-2).
Subs: D O Se for Quirke, T Kennelly for D Walsh, D Moran for Maher, B Sheehan (0-3, 3f) for Declan O’Sullivan, Declan O’Sullivan for Donaghy, D Bohane for Griffin, S O’Sullivan for Darren O’Sullivan
Derry: B Gillis, K McGuckin, K McCloy, G O’Kane, C McKaigue (0-1), B McGuigan, SL McGoldrick, F Doherty, J Diver, E Lynn (0-1), P Murphy (0-1), B Mullan, E Bradley (0-4, 1f), P Bradley (0-2, 1f), M Lynch (0-4, 3f).
Subs: J Kielt (0-1, f) for P Bradley, P Bradley for Mullan, S Bradley
(0-1) for Murphy, D McBride for O’Kane, R Dillon for McBride (yellow
Referee: M Duffy (Sligo).