The Rams qualified for the play-offs after finishing fifth in the Championship table, five points behind Hull with both teams believing they should have done more to challenge for automatic promotion.
Still, the play-offs represents a second bite of the cherry, and it was Hull who grabbed the initiative as they remarkably ran out 3-0 winners in front of a stunned iPro Stadium.
Commenting on Twitter after the game, former Derby players Savage, Higginbotham and Taylor all displayed their disappointment as the home side simply failed to show up.
So so disappointed for Derby fans !— Robbie Savage (@RobbieSavage8) May 14, 2016
Poor performance from @dcfcofficial surely early part of 2nd half when things aren't working you have to change system and go 2 up front.— Danny Higginbotham (@Higginbotham05) May 14, 2016
Derby started the contest well enough, pressuring the Hull back-line and putting together a number of good passing moves as they looked for that all-important breakthrough.
However, somewhat out of nothing, the Tigers struck first with Abel Hernandez firing low from distance.
After that, it was one-way traffic as Hull dominated the midfield, limited the hosts to hopeful longballs and grabbed further goals through Moses Odabajo and a 97th minute strike from Andrew Robertson.
It was a thoroughly deserved victory for Steve Bruce’s men, and one which was so professional that it would now take a miracle for Derby to overturn the deficit at the KC Stadium on Tuesday.