Kerry and Down both missed out on the Allianz League Division 1 decider as the Kingdom edged out the Mourne County at Killarney.
Points from Colin Cooper and Kieran Donaghy helped Kerry lead 0-4 to 0-0 but three Mark Poland scores helped Down level at 0-5 to 0-5.
However, Kerry moved into a 0-8 to 0-5 lead by the break and Darren O'Sullivan netted early in the second half.
Benny Coulter's goal got Down back into the game but the Kingdom held on.
Cooper, Donaghy and Aidan Maher were all on target as Kerry moved into an early four-point lead but Poland almost opened Down's account with a goal as his shot were inches over the bar and he hit two more points as Down levelled at 0-4 to 0-4.
Maher restored Kerry's lead only for James Colgan to respond but points from Darren O'Sullivan, Declan O'Sullivan and Bryan Sheehan moved the Kingdom 0-8 to 0-5 ahead by the break.
Darren O'Sullivan's looked to have killed off Down as Kerry led to 1-10 to 0-6 but points from Poland, Ciaran Garvey got Down scoring again and Coulter's goal left only two between the teams.
Kerry's Tom O'Sullivan was sent off in the closing stages but while a Martin Clarke point left the minimum between the teams, Down were unable to get on terms and two late Sheehan points confirmed Kerry's victory.
A League final appearance did not appear to be on Kerry's agenda as they head away to Portugal this week for a pre-championship training camp.