Derry City hit six to crush UCD
SSE Airtricity League Premier Division
Derry City 6 UCD 0
DERRY City hit already-relegated UCD for six, as they returned to winning ways thanks to a comfortable home victory.
Only a few weeks ago Ruaidhri Higgins' side easily saw off Andy Myler's men and they had another easy night at the office, this time at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.
While Derry racked up the goals, champions Shamrock Rovers secured an all-important 1-0 win over fellow Dubliners Shelbourne to remain five points clear at the top with just four games remaining.
In that previous clash Daniel Mullen netted an early goal and Will Patching scored a goal-of-the-season contender and it was a case of deja vu on Friday.
The Scotsman fired home his first goal at the Brandywell after just five minutes and Patching almost casually looped home Derry's second goal to all but end the contest.
The Brandywell men made two changes to the team which lost at Sligo Rovers, with Cameron Dummigan and Shane McEleney replacing Ciaran Coll and the suspended Ronan Boyce.
Derry got off to the perfect start as they broke the deadlock on five minutes as a superb left-wing centre by Michael Duffy found Mullen at the near post and the striker's sublime first-time volley flew past a hapless Kian Moore.
Moore had to make a big save on 38 minutes, diving to his left to turn over Duffy's close-range header after Paul McMullan's right-wing centre had picked out the Derry man in the six-yard box.
City doubled their lead in specacular style just 49 seconds into the second half as Patching's delightful chip from the edge of the box sailed over Moore into the net.
A third goal came soon after, this time Ben Doherty's right-wing corner to the back post found Cameron McJannet, whose close-range header crept past Moore despite the keeper's best efforts to try and keep it out.
The Students' shot-stopper made a top-drawer save on 68 minutes as McMullan found substitute Jamie McGonigle just inside the box. The striker's side-footed shot was destined for the keeper's bottom left corner but for a stunning save by the 20-year-old.
There was nothing the young net-minder could do a minute later as substitute Brandon Kavanagh headed home from close range after Duffy had knocked down McMullan's cross straight into the ex-Bray Wanderers youngster's path.
Derry netted a fifth on 76 minutes, Duffy's close-range diving header flying past Moore after Doherty's teasing right-wing cross had picked out the winger.
In the closing stages the Students' night got even worse as Jack Keaney, who only came on just before the hour mark, was dismissed by referee Eoghan O'Shea after picking up a second yellow card eight minutes from time.
Derry finished their goalscoring on 89 minutes as former Coleraine front-man McGonigle calmly side-footed the ball low into Moore's bottom left corner.
Derry City Maher, Dummigan, S McEleney, McJannet, Doherty; Diallo (McEneff 75), O'Reilly (B Kavanagh 62), Patching; McMullan, Mullen (McGonigle 62), Duffy (C Kavanagh 81).
UCD Moore, Wells, Barr (Higgins 57), Behan (Bishop 78), Keane, O'Brien (Keaney 57), Norris (Osam 75), O'Regan, Brennan (Doyle 75), Verdon, Clancy.
Referee Eoghan O'Shea (Dublin)