While one Kerry forward took a few baby steps on the way back to greatness, Paul Geaney delivered a timely reminder of his capabilities with a superb 1-5 from play to help the All-Ireland champions pick up their first league points of the season.
In what was their first ever appearance in Celtic Park, Kerry looked comfortable 1-17 to 0-13 winners even before Derry captain Mark Lynch received a straight red card with 20 minutes remaining.
Tommy Walsh, understandably, struggled with his ball skills in what was his first start for the Kingdom since the 2009 All-Ireland final.
Geaney, however, was on fire and Derry tried three different markers on him with little success.
He hit 1-4 of his total in the second half, stroking over two points with his left foot and two with his right and capped it off with a 61st-minute goal which clinched a first ever league win for Eamonn Fitzmaurice during the month of February.
“It is good from the point of view we’ve Dublin coming in three weeks’ time,” said the Kerry manager. “If we were beaten today, you’d just be digging a small bit, whereas after winning today everyone is in good form going down the road.”