Derry City took a massive step to securing third spot in the Airtricity League Premier Division following a comfortable win over Limerick.

First-half goals from Barry McNamee and Lukas Schubert helped them on their way, before substitute Ben Doherty sealed the points.

For Limerick they continue to struggle as they now have lost two games on the bounce.

Derry got off to the perfect start as they went in front on 32 seconds.

Barry McNamee nipped in to cut out Joe Crowe's back-pass, before rounding Limerick keeper Brendan Clarke and sidefooting home into the net.

City added a second on eight minutes as Lukas Schubert turned Rory Patterson's goal-bound strike past a frustrated Clarke from six yards.

Derry continued to press forward looking for more goals but Clarke made two super saves to deny both Ronan Curtis and Aaron McEneff.

As for the visitors they had a first half to forget as they never really tested City keeper Gerard Doherty.

Limerick boss Neil McDonald tried to inject some life into his side by making a double change on 58 minutes with John O'Flynn and Bastien Hery replacing Rodrigo Tosi and Henry Cameron and those changes worked as they had big calls for a penalty moments later.

Chiedozie Ogbene seemed to be upended inside the box by City defender Darren Cole, but referee Damien MacGraith waved play on, much to the frustration of the Limerick's bench.

Derry should have added a third on 65 minutes but Patterson blasted over from 12 yards after Schubert's cut-back had picked out the striker.

Derry did add a third on 85 minutes when Dean Clarke got himself in all sorts of bother inside his own six-yard box and the alert Ben Doherty was on hand to fire home the loose ball.

Derry City: G Doherty, McDermott, Cole, Barry, Jarvis; Low (Holden 86), McEniff, McNamee; Schubert (Boyle 80), Patterson, Curtis (B Doherty 80).

Limerick: Clarke, O'Connor, Lynch, Duggan, Tosi (O'Flynn 58), Whitehead, Kenny (O'Loughlin 89), Clarke, Ogbene, Crowe, Cameron (Hery 58).

Referee: Damien MacGraith (Mayo).