Odhrán Crumley reports from the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium
Derry City claimed local bragging rights for the second time this season with a 4-0 win over Finn Harps at the Brandywell.
Ciaron Harkin scored a hat-trick after Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe had opened the scoring, at the second attempt, after missing a penalty.
The meeting earlier in the year at Finn Park was ill-tempered, fractured and at times crazy as Declan Devine’s team ran out 3-2 winners.
Friday night’s contest was quite the opposite as the Candystripes dominated from the first minute to the last.
Derry dominated the early exchanges with Jamie McDonagh’s set piece expertise rising to the fore.
One early free-kick towards the back post was met by the head of Greg Sloggett and Peter Burke could only parry the ball into the path of Josh Kerr, but the defenders effort rose high over the bar.
Minutes later, McDonagh would provide a corner straight from the training ground.
Gerardo Bruna on the edge of the area had the ball played right into his path, but his effort was blocked by Daniel O’Reilly.
Finn Harps had their first chance of the game midway through the first half.
Tony McNamee sent a long throw into the area which was met by the head of Daniel O'Reilly on the breaking ball. Luckily for Derry, Eoin Toal was on hand to clear the ball off the line.
Despite the visitors best spell of the game it was the home team that took the lead.
Referee Tomas Connolly was left with no option but to point to the spot as Daniel O’Reilly fouled David Parkhouse in the area.
Ogedi-Uzokwe had his spot-kick saved down the middle by Peter Burke but, he was on hand to make no mistake from the rebound.
Junior would have a spectacular second goal chalked off soon after as the ball fell to the striker in the area and his overhead kick found its way into the top corner of the net, only to be ruled out for an infringement in the area.
The lead was doubled in spectacular fashion before the break as Harkin fired a free kick from the edge of the area into the top right corner of the net.
The Derry dominance continued in the second half and Ogedi-Uzokwe appeared to be brought down in the area by Daniel O’Reilly.
No penalty was awarded, prompting pinball in the area. Bruna and Barry McNamee had efforts blocked before Junior’s effort was cleared off the line by Sam Todd.
It went from bad to worse for Ollie Horgan’s team as Harkin made it three for Derry with his second of the contest.
The Creggan man gathered the ball on the edge of the area before planting a pinpoint finish into the bottom left corner of the net.
In the closing minutes, Derry continued to attack and had the opportunity to give local teenager Jack Malone his first team debut.
The torture did not end there as Harkin fired home Aidy Delap’s cross to seal a memorable hat-trick.
Derry City: Peter Cherrie; Ciaran Coll, Josh Kerr, Eoin Toal; Ciaron Harkin, Gerardo Bruna (Shane McNamee, 81), Jamie McDonagh, Barry McNamee (Jack Malone, 76), Greg Sloggett; Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, David Parkhouse (Aidy Delap, 74).
Subs not used: Ally Gilchrist, Nathan Gartside, Conor McDermott, Gianni Seraf.
Finn Harps: Peter Burke; Sam Todd, Daniel O'Reilly, Colm Deasy (Nathan Boyle, 56), Keith Cowan; Mark Russell, Tony McNamee (Jacob Borg, 56), Caolan McAleer, Mark Coyle; Raffaele Cretaro (Mikey Place, 76), Sean Boyd.
Subs not used: Mark McGinley, Niall Logue, Stephen Doherty, Liam Walsh.
Booked: Keith Cowen (7), Rafael Cretaro (11), Sean Boyd (60), Daniel O’Reilly (61)
Referee: Tomas Connolly.
Attendance: 3,000 (estimate).
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Ciaron Harkin (Derry City).