First-half goals from Will Patching and Michael Duffy secured the victory but both managers will be pleased that their squads got a good work-out before next week’s league season openers.
After President Michael D Higgins was introduced to the players, there was a minute’s applause for the recent passing of City boss Higgins’ brother Kevin, who sadly died in Sweden a week ago.
It was the home side who settled the better with Will Patching and Cian Kavanagh both going close early on. City took the lead on 23 minutes as Ben Doherty found Michael Duffy down the left and his low centre found Patching and the midfielder made no mistake firing past Rovers keeper Leon Pohls.
Soon after some neat passing ended with Johnny Kenny feeding fellow debut boy Marcus Poom, but the midfielder blasted well over from 20 yards. Derry had strong claims for a penalty on the half-hour mark when Lee Grace seemed to foul Cian Kavanagh twice inside the box, but referee Neil Doyle waved play on
Moments later Ritchie Towell was inches away from equalising, but his dipping strike from the edge of the box, which had City keeper Brian Maher scrambling, whistled just over.
A terrible goalkeeping mistake by Pohls meant City doubled their lead on 39 minutes as Mark Connolly’s cross field pass found Duffy.
He cut inside and his 20 yard strike went straight through the Rovers keeper.
Rovers made four changes at the break bringing on international duo Jack Byrne and Graham Burke along with Trevor Clarke and Neil Farrugia replacing Daniel Cleary, Darragh Nugent, Liam Burt and Towell. Maher was called into action early in the second half, as he did well to keep out Kenny’s strike.
The woodwork denied Derry a third on 48 minutes as Patching’s strike, which had Pohls beaten, came crashing back off the crossbar and Duffy’s follow-up strike hit the side-netting.
The only slight downside to the evening was the security alert outside the Brandywell and fans were told to leave via different exits.
City substitute Jamie McGonigle was a whisker away from scoring a third on 72 minutes, but his left-footed strike flashed just past Pohls’ right hand post.
Derry City: Brian Maher, Ciaran Coll, Mark Connolly, Shane McEleney, Ben Doherty; Sadou Diallo, Adam O’Reilly, WIll Patching; Ryan Graydon (Jordan McEneff 65), Cian Kavanagh (Jamie McGonigle 56), Michael Duffy (Matthew Ward 87).
Shamrock Rovers: Leon Pohls, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Daniel Cleary (Trevor Clarke HT), Darragh Nugent (Neil Farrugia HT), Richard Towell (Jack Byrne HT), Dylan Watts (Aaron Greene 65), Markus Poom, Johnny Kenny (Simon Power 65), Liam Burt (Graham Burke HT), Kieran Cruise.
Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin).Tags: