Derry City claimed an encouraging SSE Airtricity League Premier Division victory when defeating a disappointing Limerick FC at Thomond Park.

Patrick McEleney confidently swept the Candystripes ahead in the 21st minute following a burst of pressure.

The Candystripes bagged a second on 33 as Michael Duffy took maximum advantage of poor Limerick defending.

Philip Lowry slammed a third for the vibrant visitors on 64 before substitute Ryan Curran completed the rout four minutes from time.

A strangely subdued start didn't feature any goalmouth incident of note until the 13th minute when Limerick custodian Barry Ryan had to be alert.

Ryan safely gathered Duffy's attempt following a Dean Jarvis pass as Derry sought to land a blow.

Limerick were struggling to pass the ball with their usual precision as Derry battled diligently in the centre of the park.

Derry hit the front in the 21st minute punishing hesitant Limerick defending courtesy of a sweet McEleney finish.

Inspired by the tigerish Barry Molloy, Derry were dominant and they pounced for a second goal in the 33rd minute.

Just after Ryan made a splendid save to deny McEleney, Dooley reacted to gather the loose ball to cross for Duffy, who scored.

Limerick spurned a decent opportunity in the 37th minute as Kieran Djilali's crisp shot was well saved by Ger Doherty.

Trailing by two at the break, Limerick were fortunate to survive another scare on 53 as Ryan got down low to save a long-distance Ryan McBride strike.

Keen to find a way back into the reckoning for Limerick, a Lee Lynch free-kick forced a reflex save from Doherty in the 61st minute.

Derry subsequently netted a third on 64 as Lowry capped an impressive individual performance with a delightful goal.

From then on Limerick were simply on a damage limitation exercise as an industrious Derry easily closed the deal with Curran embellishing the triumph with an 86th-minute goal.

Limerick FC: Barry Ryan; Patrick Nzuzi, Samuel Oji (Shane O’Connor, 24), Stephen Folan (Tony Whitehead, 78), Robbie Williams; Ian Turner, Jason Hughes, Shane Duggan, Kieran Djilali (Jack Doherty, 70); Lee Lynch; Rory Gaffney.

Subs not used: Ali Abass, Shane Tracy, Prince Agyemang, Tam McManus.

Derry City: Ger Doherty; Shaun Kelly, Ryan McBride, Aaron Barry, Dean Jarvis; Philip Lowry, Barry Molloy, Barry McNamee (Ryan Curran, 82); Stephen Dooley (Mark Timlin, 70), Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy (Josh Treacy, 86).

Subs not used: Ciaran Gallagher, Shane McEleney, Nathan Boyle, Rory Patterson.