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Premier Division: Impressive Derry City thump UCD to narrow gap at top of table

Derry City celebrate
Derry City are now four points off top spot

Derry City cruised to an emphatic 5-0 away win over UCD to close the gap at the top of the Premier Division table.

Danny Mullen gave the Candystripes the lead inside the first two minutes at the UCD Bowl in Dublin.

Will Patching scored a beautiful double, either side of half-time, with Brandon Kavanagh also scoring twice.

The victory takes Derry to within four points of Shamrock Rovers with a top-of-the-table encounter set to take place next Friday.

Fresh from their third victory in four matches, Ruaidhri Higgins' side headed to Dublin knowing that three points from this game in hand were vital to keeping their title hopes alive.

They got off to the best of starts when Mullen was on hand to steer Paul McMullen's cross home.

Despite the early setback the students, marooned at the foot of the table, responded and perhaps should have equalised through Danu Kinsella Bishop.

Patching was sensational as Derry grabbed a league-high eighth league win on the road, netting twice.

His cool half-volley sailed over the head of goalkeeper Lorcan Healy to give the visitors a two-goal cushion on 40 minutes.

Moments later, Kavanagh made it three from close range latching onto Ben Doherty's fizzing cross.

The Foylesiders had won on 11 straight visits to the UCD Bowl before tonight's trip and went on in the second half to eclipse their 4-0 victory here in March.

On 52 minutes Patching scored his fourth goal in two games when he curled a left-footed strike beyond the reach of Healy.

The midfielder quickly turned provider to tee up Kavanagh and his rasping effort flew low into the bottom left-hand corner to complete the scoring.