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Hale treble lights up Derry City's return to Brandywell

Derry City 5-0 Limerick

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New era: Michael and Kathleen Farren, Martin O'Neill and Mayor of Derry Maoliosa McHugh open the Mark Farren Stand

New era: Michael and Kathleen Farren, Martin O'Neill and Mayor of Derry Maoliosa McHugh open the Mark Farren Stand

New era: Michael and Kathleen Farren, Martin O'Neill and Mayor of Derry Maoliosa McHugh open the Mark Farren Stand

Derry City marked their first game at the revamped Brandywell in style as they thrashed Limerick 5-0 last night.

Belfast teenager Ronan Hale, on loan from Birmingham, hit a hat-trick for the Candystripes.

The opening goal came nine minutes in when Conor McDermott produced a ferocious tackle on Shane Tracey. Hale picked the ball up on the right side of the penalty area and curled a spectacular effort over Limerick goalkeeper Brendan Clarke.

It should have been 2-0 before the half-hour after Rory Patterson linked with Aaron McEneff before the latter set up the younger Hale, but he blazed over.

The second came early in the second half when Nicky Low hooked it to Ronan Curtis, who found Patterson. He returned the pass, and Curtis finished.

Limerick were still recovering when Derry struck again three minutes later. The crowd almost saw a collector's item as Low, who has never scored for Derry, nipped onto a Patterson pass and chipped over Clarke only for it to bounce back off the crossbar.

The danger remained, and Hale managed to prod the ball into the path of McEneff, who slammed into the net.

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Derry scored again on 70 minutes. McDermott burst down the right and dinked a cross to Curtis at the back post, whose pass to the right was met by a thunderbolt by McEneff. Clarke did brilliantly to save but it fell to Hale, who lashed in his second.

Hale was then hauled back in the penalty area by Billy Dennehy, and he slotted home the spot-kick for his hat-trick.

Derry City: Doherty, Doyle (Whiteside 86), Cole, Toal, McDermott, Ronan Hale (Doherty 78), McEneff (Delap 82), Low, Rory Hale, Curtis, Patterson.

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Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council cuts the ribbon on Monday night before the Derry City v Limerick City game to officially open the new Mark Farren Stand at the Brandywell. Included in photo are the late Mark’s parents, Kathleen and Michael and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council cuts the ribbon on Monday night before the Derry City v Limerick City game to officially open the new Mark Farren Stand at the Brandywell. Included in photo are the late Mark’s parents, Kathleen and Michael and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council pictured on Monday night before the Derry City v Limerick game with the parents of the late Mark Farren, Kathleen and Michael and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill. The new stand was dedicated in memory of their son, a former Derry City player.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council pictured on Monday night before the Derry City v Limerick game with the parents of the late Mark Farren, Kathleen and Michael and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill. The new stand was dedicated in memory of their son, a former Derry City player.

The Mayor meeting some of the Derry City players before their clash with Limerick at the Brandywell on Monday night.

The Mayor meeting some of the Derry City players before their clash with Limerick at the Brandywell on Monday night.

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council pictured on Monday night before the Derry City v Limerick game with members of the late Mark Farren’s family in the new stand at Brandywell. The stand was dedicated in memory of their son and brother, a former Derry City player. From left are Bridget Flannery (sister), Kathleen Farren (mother), Michael Farren (father), Philip (brother), Catrina Gill (sister) and Ryan Farren (godson).

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council pictured on Monday night before the Derry City v Limerick game with members of the late Mark Farren’s family in the new stand at Brandywell. The stand was dedicated in memory of their son and brother, a former Derry City player. From left are Bridget Flannery (sister), Kathleen Farren (mother), Michael Farren (father), Philip (brother), Catrina Gill (sister) and Ryan Farren (godson).

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Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council cuts the ribbon on Monday night before the Derry City v Limerick City game to officially open the new Mark Farren Stand at the Brandywell. Included in photo are the late Mark’s parents, Kathleen and Michael and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill.

Limerick: Clarke, Kelly, Whitehead, Coleman, Wearen (Fitzgerald 16), Duggan (Cantwell 74), Morrissey (Ellis 60), Tracey, Kearns, B Dennehy, D Dennehy.

Man of the match: Ronan Hale

Referee: Ben Connolly.


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