Michael Duffy gave himself an early birthday gift with a hat-trick as Derry City showed no ill-effects from their heavy Europa League defeat in Belarus to win 6-1 at the UCD Bowl.
Derry controlled the game from the start and deservedly took the lead in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division clash amid a torrential downpour on 20 minutes.
Mark Timlin collected ‘keeper Ger Doherty’s free-kick to knock a sublime ball through for the run of Duffy who controlled it superbly before touching it past Conor O’Donnell.
UCD should have been two down on 39 minutes as dominant Derry were thwarted by O’Donnell who spread himself well to make a fine save with his feet from Rory Patterson after Nathan Boyle threaded him in on goal.
But Patterson made no mistake three minutes before the break as Derry punished sloppy defending to get a second goal.
Boyle robbed James Kavanagh of possession on the right to put Patterson through and last season’s top league scorer drilled a left-footed shot to the net from the edge of the area.
It was Boyle again who set up Duffy to shoot home his second goal of the game five minutes after the interval.
The hat-trick arrived two minutes later when Duffy, who turns 20 today, sidefooted home from Josh Tracey’s low cross.
UCD got a goal back two minutes later when skipper Robbie Benson’s free kick initially appeared to have been saved by Doherty before the keeper fumbled the ball over the line.
O’Donnell twice denied Patterson with terrific saves before Derry added a fifth goal right on 90 minutes.
Substitute Stephen Dooley pulled the ball back for skipper Barry Molloy who found the top corner from over 20 yards out.
But they weren't finished yet as Patterson got his second of the game five minutes into added time when rounding O’Donnell to shoot home for his eighth goal in seven games.
UCD: Conor O’Donnell; Mark Langtry (Dan Tobin 70), Gareth Matthews, James Kavanagh, Sean Coyne; Chris Mulhall (Samir Belhout, 38), Robbie Benson, Colm Crowe, Ayman Ben Mohamed (Gary Burke 76); Timmy Molloy; Conor Cannon.
Derry City: Ger Doherty; Danny Ventre (Barry McNamee 57), Ryan McBride, Aaron Barry, Mark Timlin; Josh Tracey, Philip Lowry, Barry Molloy, Michael Duffy (Stephen Dooley 78); Nathan Boyle (Paddy McEleney 64), Rory Patterson.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Monaghan).