Derry City moved to the top of the Airtricity League Premier Division following a hard fought win 2-1 over a spirited Limerick side.

Two late goals saw the home side overturn Steve Folan's first half goal and deservedly claim maximum points.

Despite not playing well in the first half, the Candy Stripes upped the ante after the break and Mark Griffin and Rory Patterson’s late brace ensured the victory.

Limerick started the brighter of the two sides and went close on 13 minutes but Shane Tracy’s 25 yard free-kick, which had Gerard Doherty beaten, clipped the bar before sailing wide.

Soon after another slick move by the visitors ended with Shane Kelly’s right wing centre finding Rory Gaffney at the back post, but the striker, who had more time than he thought, saw his first time effort whistle just wide.

The Munster men deservedly took the lead on 28 minutes when Tracy’s right wing corner caused problems for the home side, and centre-back Folan made no mistake glancing the ball home past a flat-footed Doherty.

Derry thought that they had levelled things just after the half-hour mark when Michael Rafter’s close range shot on the half-volley was outstandingly saved by Barry Ryan, the Limerick keeper getting his left hand to the ball to somehow keep the effort out.

The home side started the second half with a lot more drive and they went close to equalising on 55 minutes when Rory Patterson broke the offside trap, but his low right footed effort from just inside the box was saved by Ryan.

Derry boss Declan Devine made a double change ten minutes from time in an attempt to get back into the game

Sean Houston and Patrick McEleney replaced Ryan McBride and Michael Rafter, and those changes saw the Candy Stripes change the game completely as they drew level on 86 minutes when a snap-shot out of nothing from Griffin from the edge of the box seem to catch out a flat-footed Ryan.

Amazingly the Brandywell outfit scored what turned out to be the winner a minute later when Patterson turned home Barry McNamee’s goal bound shot.

The Derryman looked in a offside position, but the referee’s assistant kept his flag down, much to the visitors frustration.

Derry City: Doherty, Madden, S McEleney, McBride (Houston 79), McCaffrey; Higgins, Molloy, McNamee; Griffin, Patterson, Rafter (McEleney 79). 

Limerick: Ryan, Kelly, Brown, Folan, Williams; Gamble, Galbraith, O’Leary, Tracy; Gaffney (Nzuzi 60), Bossekota (Judge 87). 

Referee: Mr Tomas Connolly (Dublin).

Highlights and analysis of all the weekend’s action on MNS from 7pm on Monday 6 May on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).