He might not quite have uttered the immortal phrase 'Tis only the league' but it's fair to say Kerry manager Peter Keane wasn't overly despondent following his side's defeat to Mayo in today's Division 1 final.

"You might think I’m mad here after losing a League final - of course I’m disappointed to have lost a League final - but I’m going down the road relatively happy," he told RTÉ Sport.

"We’ve played eight games and a lot of things went our way. What did we lose? We lost one game in Tralee by two points (also to Mayo), we lost a game here today by two scores, a game we could have stolen in the end.

"You know what, I can’t say I’m disappointed. Don’t pick that up wrong, we came here to win a game but you look at it say, ‘We’ve had a good league’."

Goals were both Kerry's strength and undoing at Croke Park - they led 2-03 to 0-05 at the interval but conceded three majors in the second half to go down on a 2-10 to 3-11 scoreline.

"You don’t like conceding three goals but I thought the goalie (Shane Ryan) did excellent.

"In some respects, we defended very well. There was a lot of running going on. But to go back to the specific three goals that’s something we will look at over the next week or two and see where they came from.

"I think in the first half in particular, we had lots of chances and we just didn’t put them away. We had lots of opportunities that we just didn’t take.

"We were still tipping away in that second half and then goals just came at critical times. Even at the death, we were unlucky ourselves that we didn’t poke a goal.

"They had momentum and if you make a mistake or two here you give them oxygen to come at you so that’s where that was."

Keane admitted that the two defeats to Mayo took a little of the gloss off what had been an otherwise excellent League campaign but he is confident that there isn't much between the teams if they meet again later in the year.

"If ye were sitting down at the start of the year, where were Kerry in the rankings and they were probably, six, seven or eight in terms of their position in the Super 8s so we had beaten all the teams above us at that point with the exception of Mayo.

"We would like to have beaten them but we didn’t and we had two shots at it.

"If you look at the game in Tralee, where you would not put a dog out on the night and it was 1-10 to 0-11, it was 11 scores each. There was not much in it and in today’s game there was not much in it either."