Seven heaven for Derry City

Derry City 7, UCD 1

By Kevin McLaughlin
Saturday, 23rd April 2022, 12:47 am
Derry City's Joe Thomson congratulates Jamie McGonigle, after the striker completed his hat-trick. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI
Derry City's Joe Thomson congratulates Jamie McGonigle, after the striker completed his hat-trick. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI

Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins wanted his players to be ruthless and they certainly were, as they wrapped the points up against UCD, in the first half.

The Candy Stripes smelt blood and in striker Jamie McGonigle they had a man possessed on the hunt for goals, in the end he had to settle for a hat-trick, but in truth he could easily have had five or six.

City boss Ruaidhri Higgins for the second game running made a host of changes with Brian Maher, Patrick McEleney, Brandon Kavanagh and McGonigle all starting with Nathan Gartside, Danny Lafferty, Joe Thomson and James Akintunde all dropping to the bench.

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Will Patching celebrates firing home Derry City's opening goal. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI

A clever pass by Cameron Dummigan released Ronan Boyce down the right but his sixth minute cross was inches in front of Matty Smith at the near post.

The Brandywell men did take the lead on 14 minutes as Patrick McEleney's 20 yard quarter-back like pass found Will Patching inside the box, the midfielder chested the ball down, before firing low past UCD keeper Lorcan Healy.

Derry doubled their advantage eight minutes later following another defensive splitting pass this time, Dummigan's long raking pass found McGonigle, who's first touch took him away from Healy and he fired into the net.

McGonigle, who went into the game having not scored in his last six games, played like a striker making up for lost time as he netted his second on the night, blasting home past Healy, after controlling Maher's quick thinking long punt down field.

Derry City's Jamie McGonigle jumps on Cameron McJannet's back after the defender scored the Brandywell men's fourth goal. Picture by Kevin Moore/MCI

With their tails up Derry added a fourth on 34 minutes as Smith's teasing left wing cross found Cameron McJannet at the near post and the defender planted his header past Healy.

Just before the break Derry amazingly scored a fifth as Dummigan's 35 yard strike caught out Healy and nestled in the keeper's bottom right hand corner.

On 52 minutes a fantastic pass by Patrick McEleney found McGonigle, but the striker's left footed effort, fizzed just past Healy's left hand post, but Derry did score a sixth on 55 minutes as Patching's left wing centre found Boyce at the back post and the right-back nodded home past Healy.

To their credit UCD went close to scoring a consolation goal on 58 minutes but substitute Eoin Farrell, watched his cross-cum-shot clip the top of Maher's crossbar.

That man McGonigle did complete his hat-trick on 60 minutes, showing good strength to latch onto Patrick McEleney's through ball, before seeing his left footed strike fly into the roof of the net.

UCD did get themselves on the score-sheet on 63 minutes as substitute Alex Nolan turned the ball home from close range, that UCD goal seemed to upset Derry as they went on the hunt for another goal, with that man McGonigle latched onto Evan McLaughlin's through ball, but he blasted over with only Healy to beat.

City continued to got forward in search of more goals in the final quarter, with the impressive Smith in particular, unlucky on a few occasions not to get on the score-sheet.

Derry City: Brian Maher, Ronan Boyce (Daithi McCallion 69), Shane McEleney, Eoin Toal (Ciaron Coll 57), Cameron McJannet; Cameron Dummigan (Joe Thomson HT), Patrick McEleney (Gerard Storey 55), Will Patching (Evan McLaughlin 57); Brandon Kavanagh, Jamie McGonigle, Matty Smith.

UCD: Lorcan Healy, Michael Gallagher, Evan Caffrey (Adam Lennon 76), Mark Dignam (Adam Verdon HT), Luke Boore (Eoin Farrell HT), Liam Kerrigan, Evan Osam, Sam Todd, Colm Whelan, Dylan Duffy (Alex Nolan HT), Donal Higgins (John Ryan HT).

Referee: Ben Connolly (Dublin).