HAT-TRICK hero, Ciaron Harkin says if he never scores another treble for Derry City he'll be content to have bagged one in the North West derby against Finn Harps.
The midfield dynamo became the first player since striker, Alex Krstic in March 1987 to net a hat-trick against the Co. Donegal men on derby day when he completed his rout in stoppage time during the 4-0 win over Harps at Brandywell.
That was nine years before the 20 year-old was even born and so he was delighted to replicate the heroics of the Serbian legend and register his first senior hat-trick in front of the large home support.
"I was told about that stat afterwards," he said. "It'll probably be another 30 years before it happens again. I'll probably never ever score another hat-trick again in my life so I'm just happy it happened against Finn Harps," he laughed.
The Creggan man was clinical in front of goal on the night and took his season's tally to five goals to join David Parkhouse on the top of the club's goalscoring charts. Not bad for a midfielder!
"I just couldn't believe it when I scored two never mind three," said the former Coleraine player. "I just put myself into the right places at the right time.
"Tonight I just took a gamble and you obviously need to take shots to score goals and I got myself into good positions and got the shots off and I was over the moon to get those goals."
His first was undoubtedly the pick of the bunch as he curled his free-kick around the wall and into the corner of the net past Peter Burke on the stroke of half-time.
"I hit the first one well," he recalled. "I knew to go to the keeper's left side as there was a very big wall there. Gerardo (Bruna) was standing ready to hit the ball but we spoke about it and you could see for a left-footer to hit it would've been a disadvantage because of the size of the wall.
"So I went away from the wall and put it to the goalkeeper's side. I struck it so well and was just glad it went into the back of the net."
That spectacular finish gave Derry a comfortable 2-0 cushion and they never looked back after that as they cruised to a first win in six attempts.
With no home fixture until July 5th when they host Dundalk, it was a crucial win and which moved City to within a single point of third placed Bohemians.
"We had a bad 30 minutes at the start but we did well after that. We passed the ball well, created a lot of chances and defended well. We need to keep playing that brand of football, keep passing the ball and keep getting points on the board.
"For an hour tonight we played really well. If we can play like that against anyone we should get a result if we take our chances. It was the same against St Pat's in the second but we didn't take our chances there. We deserved to win tonight because we did take our chances and we're glad of the three points. The main thing to do is to get as close as you can to the people above you and keep moving up the table."