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Dublin: 21 °C Tuesday 23 July, 2019

Harkon's hat-trick helps Derry City close in on top three with derby rout

The Candystripes got back on track thanks to a comprehensive victory at home to Finn Harps.

Derry City's Ciaron Harkin (file pic).
Derry City's Ciaron Harkin (file pic).
Image: Evan Logan/INPHO

Derry City 4
Finn Harps 0

Simon Collins reports from Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium 

CIARON HARKIN NETTED a magnificent hat-trick as Derry City totally outclassed north-west rivals Finn Harps to get back on the winning trail.

The midfielder became the first player to net a hat-trick in the derby since Alex Krstic back in 1987, as the Candystripes put Harps to the sword at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.

It was a one-sided affair, as City made it six derby wins in succession against their Donegal neighbours. Their first win in six attempts moves them to within a point of third-placed Bohemians.

Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe saw his 32nd-minute penalty saved by Peter Burke before he fired in the rebound from two yards to open the scoring for the home side.

On the stroke of half-time, Harkin netted his first with a stunning free-kick from 20 yards.It was all one-way traffic in the second half and Harkin made certain of the win after shambolic defending from Harps as he swept his shot into the far corner from 14 yards. The midfielder completed his hat-trick late on.

Derry tested the reflexes of Harps keeper Peter Burke on nine minutes from a Jamie McDonagh free-kick wide on the left. Greg Sloggett headed towards goal at the back post, and when Burke palmed it away, Josh Kerr reacted quickest but blasted the rebound over the bar.

From a well-worked McDonagh corner-kick, Gerardo Bruna arrived unmarked into the penalty area but his low strike was deflected behind for another corner.

Harps’ first effort on goal came on 17 minutes when a loose ball fell kindly to Tony McNamee on the edge of the area, but he ballooned his strike into the dog track at the Showgrounds end of the stadium.

The Donegal men almost capitalised on a long throw-in from McNamee on 28 minutes. Cowan flicked it on with his head and Peter Cherrie failed to connect with his punch as Daniel O’Reilly’s header was deflected narrowly wide.

Ogedi-Uzokwe skipped past Mark Russell before sending a cross towards the far post and Parkhouse went down under the challenge of O’Reilly as referee Tomas Connolly pointed to the spot on 31 minutes.

Up stepped Ogedi-Uzokwe and his tame spot-kick was saved by Burke, but the Derry striker reacted quickly and made no mistake with the rebound for his third goal of the season.

Ogedi-Uzokwe netted a spectacular overhead kick into the top corner from 10 yards after Bruna had sent the ball into the box, but the referee awarded a free kick to Harps for a high boot on 42 minutes.

Just before the break, Ogedi-Uzokwe was fouled on the edge of the penalty area by Caolan McAleer, and Harkin curled his sublime free-kick into the net to double City’s lead.

Harps faced an uphill struggle going into the second half, having scored just two goals away from home all season.

Ogedi-Uzokwe appeared to be brought down inside the penalty area by the outstretched leg of a Harps defender just short of the hour mark, but the referee waved play on.

Derry kept the move alive and the ball eventually fell to Ogedi-Uzokwe, who shot on the turn but his effort was cleared off the line by Sam Todd.

City made it 3-0 after a comedy of errors in the Harps defence, as Harkin picked up the loose ball just inside the 18 yard box and swept it into the bottom corner to complete his brace.

The midfielder capped a wonderful performance as he drilled into the net from close range following a cross from Ogedi-Uzokwe to complete his hat-trick in stoppage time.

DERRY CITY: P. Cherrie; J. McDonagh, E. Toal, J. Kerr, C. Coll; J. Ogedi-Uzokwe, C. Harkin, G. Sloggett, G. Bruna (S. McNamee 81); B. McNamee (J. Malone 76); D. Parkhouse (A. Delap 74).

FINN HARPS: P. Burke; C. Deasy (N. Boyle 56), K. Cowan, S. Todd, D. O’Reilly; M. Russell, M. Coyle, T. McNamee (J. Borg 56); C. McAleer, R. Cretaro (M. Place 76), S. Boyd.

Referee: Tomas Connolly.

Gavan Casey is joined by Ryan Bailey and Andy Dunne to look ahead to Saturday’s Pro14 final, look at whether Joey Carbery’s move has paid off and Jack Conan talks about how his body is holding up.:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Simon Collins

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