Derry City progressed to the quarter-finals of the FAI Ford Cup but they were made fight all the way by Finn Harps in a cracking north-west derby at Finn Park.

Harps went into the game on the back of a 13-match unbeaten run in the First Division and certainly did not lack confidence against the cup holders. But once again the Donegal side were beaten by their fiercest rivals.

In an absorbing clash played in wet and windy conditions, Derry took the lead on nine minutes when Peter Hutton floated in a free from the right and Ken Oman rose to head powerfully home.

But while Kevin McHugh, Harry McCourt and Sean Hargan - with a shot tipped over the bar by James Gallagher - all went close for the visitors, Harps played some fine flowing football before the interval with both the impressive Conor Gethins and Stephen Parkhouse causing problems for the Derry defence.

With Harps increasingly pushing forward as the game wore on, there was always the threat of Derry City getting a second to effectively seal victory.

But Harps kept plugging away, although chances were at a premium.

Declan Divin spurned a great opportunity in the 59th minute when he fired wide from a good position.

And then Shaun McGowan headed narrowly wide as he met a Shaun Holmes free.

In a frantic final ten minutes play swung from end to end, but the Candystripes held out for yet another win over their great rivals.


Finn Harps: Gallagher, Roddy, Minnock, McLaughlin, Holmes, Shields, O’Loughlin, McGowan, Parkhouse, Gethins, Divin.
Subs: Funston for O’Loughlin (57 mins), Brown for Roddy (88 mins).

Derry City: Jennings, McCallion, Hargan, Hutton, Oman, McCourt, Deery, Martyn, Morrow, McHugh, Brennan.
Subs: McCafferty for Martyn and McChrystal for Hargan (both 66 mins), Farren for McHugh (80 mins).

Referee: Mr P McKeon (Dublin).