Kerry were almost caught napping after leading 0-11 to 0-6 at half-time, the home side having shot 16 wides. However, Shane Nolan could not be faulted having struck five points in the opening half and young midfielder Philip Lucid firing over three from play.
Derry were also poor up front, missing early frees, but once midfielder Paddy Henry assumed the freetaking duties and Johnny O’Dwyer came in off the bench, they began to eat into Kerry’s lead, with Henry converting four first half frees.
A hungrier Derry side took over in the second half, with Henry adding two frees and two from play, while O’Dwyer also added two as Kerry continued their wasteful ways. They only added 0-2 in normal time, one from Lucid (play) and Nolan (free), despite some inspired play from young Michael O’Leary.
Paddy Henry appeared to have given Derry victory when he converted a 61st minute free, but Nolan’s leveller saved Kerry’s bacon.
Scorers for Kerry: S Nolan 0-7 (0-4 frees), P Lucid 0-4, M Boyle, A Royle and M O’Leary 0-1 each
Scorers for Derry: P Henry 0-9 (0-7 frees), J O Dwyer 0-3, A Grant and M Conway 0-1 each
KERRY: J Logue (Tipperary), B Murphy, P Kelly (Clare), D Fitzelle, P Costelloe, A Feale, S Weir, J Griffin, P Lucid, M Boyle, C Harty, A Royle, S Nolan, M O’Leary, K Carmody:
Subs: T Casey for A Fealy (44), R Heffernan for C Harty (45), G O Grady for K Carmody (65)
DERRY: B Robinson , J Mc Closkey , C Quinn , E McGuckin, S McCullagh , C McSorley , K Hinphey , S McGuigan , P Henry , M Warnock, P Mc Closkey, R Convery, P Cleary, A Grant, D Flanagan :
Subs: J O Dwyer for M Warnock (23), A Kelly for R Convery (44), B Duban for J McCloskey (44), D Foley for P McCloskey (64), M Conway for D Flanagan (66)
Referee: J Heffernan (Wexford).