Football: HEALY SUCKS A BRANDY BAWL; Derry 3 Finn Harps 2 Harps Manager Felix Sent to Stand BEFORE Kick-Off

The Mirror (London, England), July 9, 2005 | Go to article overview

Football: HEALY SUCKS A BRANDY BAWL; Derry 3 Finn Harps 2 Harps Manager Felix Sent to Stand BEFORE Kick-Off


Byline: Garry DOYLE

IN A game of passionate intensity Derry City maintained both their local supremacy and their unexpected title charge.

And they did so after a night of drama which started with the sending off of Felix Healy, the current manager of Finn Harps and former boss of Derry, half an hour before kick off.

Healy found himself embroiled in a verbal spat with referee Pat Whelan, who subsequently ordered him to watch the game from the stands.

There he viewed a wonderful game - one that provided the best attacking, if not defending, seen in the League this year - and one that justifiably saw Derry collect the full offering of points.

And few can deny them their glory for in the final analysis City's performance was excellent - their passing and movement being particularly effective.

With Stephen Kenny subtly changing the shape of the side that beat Shelbourne so gamely last week, Derry found themselves with more artists than artisans.

Subsequently their possession play moved up a notch or two - with the right wing pairing of Kevin Deery and Brian Cash dominant on that flank and Killian Brennan making hay on the opposite wing.

Inside them the attacking axis of Ruairdhi Higgins, Ciaran Martyn and the deep-lying forward, Gary Beckett, served to provide Kenny with the cutting edge he was looking for.

Yet Harps coped impressively with the pressure - and their debutant centre-half, Mark Skoltock, held his nerve on a tough baptism.

Further forward the quality of their possession play was equally as sharp as Derry's and their front pair, Kevin McHugh and Chris Breen, caused Derry's defence more trouble than any other side has this year. …

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