Derry’s passage to the Allianz League Division 1 final was something of a surprise, yet a hard lesson was learned in the wake of their mauling by Dublin in the Croke Park decider.
They squad has less than four weeks to get focused on their Ulster opener with Donegal. Victory would no doubt re-energise their season ahead of even more stiffer challenges in the provincial campaign.
But for now the dust settles amid their collapse against the Dubs.
After the match Derry boss Brian McIver said the loss was part of his side’s steep learning curve.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport, he said: “Coming up from Division 2 to Division 1 we knew we were going to be in a position where would have to learn and learn fast. Up until today we’d really be learning fast but we hit a block against Dublin, who simply were a juggernaut on fire.
"When they got on top they kept going and going.
"We’ll stand back analyse what has happened. We have a hell of a lot of work to do before 25 May (against Donegal) but we’ll get down and do it."
Donegal will enter that game on the back of a 1-16 to 1-10 defeat on Sunday's Division 2 decider against Monaghan at GAA HQ.
Rory Kavanagh will miss the Celtic Park clash after he was shown a straight red card for putting his boot into the groin of Monaghan's Darren Hughes shortly after half-time.