In the 11th minute the first chance fell to the visitors when Paul McVeigh broke through but was denied by a fine stop from Gerard Doherty.
Derry started to take control of the midfield and were rewarded with a couple of half chances falling to McCaffrey and Patterson which Gallagher was equal to.
A fine shot shot from Tracey in the 29th minute tested Derry’s Doherty before Derry broke the deadlock in the 30th minute. Patrick McEleney swung in a looping corner which evaded everyone except Stephen McLaughlin at the back post and he had a simple tap in to open his account.
It took only another eight minutes for him to double his and Derry’s tally with an effort that must be a contender for goal of the season. A chip across the 18 yard line from McCaffrey was met with an outrageous scissors kick from McLaughlin and it arrowed straight into the top corner. Derry were dominating now and deservedly went in at the break with the advantage.
The first 10 minutes of the second period was all Derry as the Harps team seemed to be tiring. In the 58th minute a defence splitting chip from Owen Morrison found Rory Patterson and he expertly lifted it over the advancing Ciaran Gallagher to make it 3-0. Harps were in disarray now and straight from the kick off they conceded again.
Ruaidhri Higgins found an unmarked Barry Molloy who had the easy task of heading it into the net. Derry played out the rest of the half hardly giving the Donegal men a touch of the ball and in the 85th minute Finn Harps were almost punished again as McLaughlin cut the ball back for a curling Higgins shot to crash off the bar.
At this point the final whistle couldn’t come soon enough for Peter Hutton’s side. The only downside for Derry was the recently returned Farren leaving the pitch in the 89th minute with what looked like a recurrence of his hamstring problem.
All in all, a fairly easy night’s work for Declan Devine’s men but Peter Hutton has a lot of work ahead in rebuilding Finn Harps confidence for the rest of their league campaign.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Simon Madden, Shane McEleney (Eddie McCallion 71), Ryan McBride, Dermott McCaffrey; Owen Morrison, Barry Molloy (c), Ruaidhri Higgins, Pat McEleney (Mark Farren 64); Stephen McLaughlin, Rory Patterson (David McDaid 75).
Subs Not Used: Eugene Ferry, Brian McGroary, Matthew Crossan, Ryan Curran.
Bookings: Patterson (34), McCallion (80).
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Paul McVeigh, Peter Hutton (c), Ciaran Coll, Aaron O’Hagan; Tommy Bonner, Thomas McBride, Shaun McGowan, Paul Simon Tracey (Jordan Duffy 71); Matt Harkin (Garry Merritt 60), Ciaran Greene.
Subs Not Used: Shaun Patton, James Doherty, Tommy McMonagle, Shane McGinty.
Bookings: Hutton (65), O’Hagan (80).