It took only 36 minutes for Derry City striker Rory Patterson to secure his hat-trick against UCD in the Belfield Bowl on Friday evening.
The Candy Stripes went on to win the game 6-0 with new signings Thomas Crawley, Marc Griffin and Michael Rafter completing the six goal destruction of Martin Russell’s men.
Twenty-eight year-old Patterson was ruthless in front of goal and his three goal salvo will be a memory that UCD duo Ger Barron and James Kavanagh will wish to forget.
After losing their opening fixture of the Airtricity League Premier Division to Sligo Rovers at the Brandywell and having been eliminated from this year’s Setanta Sports Cup by Drogheda United, Declan Devine’s team were in the hunt for a victory.
Derry will do well to record a more emphatic and convincing result this season and it’s at all fanciful to suggest that the score line could have been even more.
Patterson opened the scoring in the eighth minute when UCD goalkeeper Ger Barron made a howler worthy of one of those goalkeeper blooper videos on YouTube.
Hugh Douglas passed the ball back to Barron who attempted to dribble it past Patterson.
What followed was embarrassing to say the least.
Former Linfield striker, Patterson, dispossessed Barron and fired the ball into an open net - it’s perhaps one of the easiest goals the Strabane man will score in his career.
Things went from ridiculously bad to oh so worse for the Students when Patterson doubled his team’s lead in the 26th minute.
UCD midfielder, James Kavanagh, played what can only be described as a suicide pass straight at Patterson. The Northern Ireland international reacted naturally, burst into the UCD danger area and slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner.
The game had not reached the half hour mark and already it looked to be over. UCD were the authors of their own misfortune and Patterson was ready to seize upon any chance that came his way.
Patterson ensured he would be travelling back up the M1 with the match ball when he secured his hat-trick in the 36th minute.
If Barron thought his earlier misfortune was to be his last then he was to be severely disappointed.
Barron was punished with a yellow card when his hand connected with the ball outside of the area in the 35th minute.
Patterson placed the ball on the ground and proceeded to drill it into the back of the net from 25 yards out. It was a remarkable strike by Patterson and it was the perfect way for him to secure his hat-trick.
Declan Devine’s men were in cruise control and led 3-0 at the half-time interval.
The game was put well and truly out of UCD’s reach in the 49th minute when Derry midfielder Thomas Crawley fired a left foot shot past Barron.
UCD finished the game with ten men when David O’Connor was shown a second yellow card after he was adjudged to have brought down Derry forward Marc Griffin in 67th minute.
Barron saved Griffin’s free-kick but could only watch on helplessly as second half substitute Michael Rafter tucked the rebound away with an outstanding strike.
Griffin made it six in the 86th minute.
Next up for Derry City is Drogheda United at the Brandywell on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.45pm.
UCD: Ger Barron; Gareth Matthews, David O’Connor, Hugh Douglas (Thomas Boyle 46), Sean Coyne; James Kavanagh, Sean Russell, Dean Clarke (Daniel ‘Dinny’ Corcoran 46), Gary Burke, Robbie Benson (Robbie Creevy 46); David McMiilan.
Subs not used: Mark McGinley, Tyrone McNeilis, Craig Walsh, Samir Belhout.
Derry City: Ger Doherty; Simon Madden, Ryan McBride, Shane McEleney, Barry McNamee; Ruaidhri Higgins, Kevin Deery (Tony McNamee 68), Barry Molloy, Thomas Crawley (Michael Duffy 79); Mark Griffin, Rory Patterson (Michael Rafter 68).
Subs not used: James Gallagher, Ryan Curran, Conall Kelly.
Referee: Mr. Sean Grant (Wexford).