Derry City 5 Limerick 0
Ronan Hale lit up the Brandywell on the opening night, grabbing a hat trick to write himself into folklore on his home debut. The youngster fired a rocket in the 9th minute, before adding two in the second half to ensure his first game at the Brandywell will be one to remember.
Manager Shiels made three changes after the heavy loss on Friday night, with Conor McDermott and Ronan Hale making it to the starting 11 after their substitute appearances on Friday, with Jack Doyle making his debut. City reverted to four at the back as they sought to instil defensive solidity after the nightmare result in Tallaght.
With Martin O’Neill and John Delaney in attendance, there were emotional scenes as the mayor of the City cut the ribbon on the new development, with the Farren family in attendance. The phones lit up the stands in the 5th and 18th minutes as the large attendance paid tribute to Mark Farren and Ryan McBride.
City hit the front after nine minutes when Ronan Hale took the ball down and fired home from a tight angle on the right hand side. For the remainder of the first half, the visitors had most of the possession but never really threatened the City goal from open play. They were unlucky when a free kick from Dennehy struck the inside of the post with Doherty beaten, but the City goal survived. Whilst City may have had less of the possession in the first half, they were the most dangerous.
In the second half, the home side ran riot adding four goals to clear the memories of Friday. Ronan Curtis made it two after he capped off a move down the left, firing home after nice work from Doyle and Rory Hale. McEneff made it three after Low’s initial effort came off the bar. City were rampant at this stage and there was no question that more goals would flow.
Clarke made a great save from Curtis, but he was unable to stop the effort from Hale as he grabbed his second. Moments later City got a penalty and there was no question that Hale would take the ball. He sent Clarke the wrong way and finished high into the net to grab his hat trick. The youngster went looking for a fourth but Clarke made a good stop.
City were able to empty the bench and with Bray on Friday and Dundalk on Monday, there will be bigger tests ahead, but this was quite a way to write the first chapter of history in the new Brandywell.