Football: Healy Sucks Brandy Bawl in Derry Win; Derry City 3 Finn Harps 2

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

Football: Healy Sucks Brandy Bawl in Derry Win; Derry City 3 Finn Harps 2


Byline: By 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 that started with the sending-off of Felix Healy the manager of Finn Harps half an hour before kick-off.

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

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

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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