The sides were level at 1-6 to 0-9 at the break after Urhan clubman Conor Lowney struck for a goal following a quickly taken free after 17 minutes.
“We were happy enough at half-time, going in level, but then in the second-half we didn’t take it out like we said we would,” said the Kenmare clubman.
“But I can’t fault the boys, they gave it everything they had, they gave it 100%, and I suppose we were a bit unlucky to be missing a few lads because they are involved in club finals, but these things happen.
“We’re very disappointed. We came up here thinking we would give them a better game than what we did.”
Cillian Cromwell went forward from wing-back to shoot two excellent points for Tralee, but he was outdone by UL’s Fergal Boland who landed three from his wing-back berth before picking up a black card in the closing stages.
UL got on top in the third quarter, a close-range goal from Shane Killoran putting them five points up. While Paudie Quill cancelled it at the other end with a neat finish, Brian Carson’s men maintained supremacy. They sealed a place in the quarter-finals at home to Queen’s next week when Bryan O’Shea found the net in the closing stages. Tralee centre-back Cian Horan picked up a red card late on.
“It’s my first game in charge in the Sigerson Cup and just delighted to get a win in such a prestigious competition,” said Carson. “We were a little sloppy at times, we could have put a bit more on the scoreboard.”
S Killoran 1-2, B O’Shea 1-2, F Boland 0-3, K Moore 0-3 (3f), I Burke 0-2, R Deane 0-1, C O’Dea 0-1, J Naughton 0-1.
P Quill 1-3 (2f), C Lowney 1-0, C O’Driscoll 0-2, C Cromwell 0-2, D McElligott 0-1.
C O’Driscoll (Cork); D Larkin (Wexford), C Long (Kerry), P O’Connor (Kerry); A Rowan (Longford), E Kiely (Kerry), F Boland (Mayo); G Hegarty (Limerick), R Deane (Cork); D Neville (Limerick), S Killoran (Roscommon), C O’Dea (Clare); I Burke (Galway), K Moore (Limerick), B O’Shea (Kerry).
L Boland (Tipperary) for Larkin (32 mins), J Naughton (Limerick) for O’Dea (41), S McAuliffe (Limerick) for F Boland (55, black).
B Galvin (Kerry); C Counihan (Kerry), E Hickson (Kerry), S Flynn (Cork); D McElligott (Kerry), C Horan (Kerry), C Cromwell (Monaghan); D Somers (Kerry), C Lowney (Cork); A Moriarty (Kerry), G O’Shea (Kerry), C O’Driscoll (Cork); V Hogan (Kerry), D Wallace (Kerry), P Quill (Kerry).
A Duggan (Kerry) for Moriarty (30 mins), S Guthrie (Kerry) for Hogan (46), C O’Connell (Kerry) for Wallace (51), J Lyne (Kerry) for Cromwell (60), P O’Shea (Kerry) for Lowney (60).
Richard McNicholas (Galway).