Derry City really aren't going away as they continue to keep on the coat-tails of leaders Shamrock Rovers.

Goals from Michael Duffy in the first half, followed by Brandon Kavanagh and Jamie McGonigle secured all three points.

Ruaidhri Higgins' side made it eight victories in a row in all competitions and they kept their sixth clean-sheet on the bounce, as they comfortably saw off north-west neighbours Finn Harps.

The Brandywell men never really got out of second gear if truth is to be told and could even manage to miss a second half penalty, as they easily secured the points.

City started on the front foot and they should have done better on 11 minutes but an unmarked Cameron McJannet failed to trouble Harps keeper James McKeown, as he headed Duffy's corner well off target.

Derry deservedly took the lead on 19 minutes as a lovely pass by Kavanagh inside Jose Carrillo released Duffy and the winger made no mistake, side footing home from close range.

Moments later City keeper Brian Maher was called into action when he dived at full stretch to keep out Barry McNamee's lovely 20-yard left-footed strike.

Early in the second half City missed a glorious chance to fire home a second as Duffy's clever pass found James Akintunde, but the Londoner's shot while under pressure from Conor Tourish, flew just past McKeown's left hand post.

The Derry striker missed an even better chance on 53 minutes as Ronan Boyce's tame shot fell perfectly for the 26-year-old, but his close range effort was kept out by McKeown.

Derry did score a second on 61 minutes as McJannet's left wing cross fell perfectly to Kavanagh and the youngster gleefully fired home plumb centre of the six yard box.

The Brandywell men should have netted a third on 75 minutes from the penalty spot when Jamie McGonigle was brought down inside the box by Tourish, but the substitute's resulting spot-kick was kept out by McKeown, the Harps keeper diving low to his left to make the save.

In the closing minutes McKeown did well to get down low to his right to keep out Will Patching's long range drive.

Right at the death McGonigle made up for his penalty miss, as he fired home his 11th league goal of the campaign, blasting home from just inside the box.

Harps remain level on points but ahead on goal difference of UCD who were beaten at home by Sligo Rovers.

Derry City: Brian Maher, Ronan Boyce, Mark Connolly, Shane McEleney, Cameron McJannet; Cameron Dummigan, Sadou Diallo, Will Patching (Declan Glass 90); Michael Duffy, James Akintunde (Jamie McGonigle 66), Brandon Kavanagh (Joe Thomson 80).

Finn Harps: James McKeown, Conor Tourish, Regan Donelon, Rob Slevin, Ryan Connolly, Gary Boylan, Barry McNamee (Mark Timlin 85), Jose Carrillo (Jaime Slaj 60), Ryan Rainey, Dylan Duncan, Filip Mihaljevic (Rob Jones 60).

Referee: Sean Grant (Wexford).