DERRY City clinched the Billy Kee Memorial Cup when they overcame a spirited Institute side, at a bitterly cold Riverside Stadium, on Tuesday night.
Both sides made a host of changes throughout the 90 minutes, but it was Rory Patterson’s late goal that separated the sides.
For Derry boss Declan Devine he will be pleased that the likes of Shane McEleney, Barry Molloy, Patrick McEleney, Mark Griffin, Thomas Crawley and Patterson all got more minutes under the belts.
’Stute boss Paul Kee gave a host of young players a chance to mix it with the first team, with young centre-back Niall Logue doing well in his first outing for the first team.
The Waterside men went close in the early stages when a Michael McCrudden corner wasn’t cleared by the visitors, but Dean Jarvis’ well hit effort from 10 yards was kept out by the alert City goalkeeper Gerard Doherty.
On 14 minutes the Derry captain for the night made a stunning save to deny his former team-mate McCrudden.
Doherty was at full stretch to tip the Gobnascale man’s free-kick from the edge of the box, over the bar.
Just before the hour mark an inch perfect pass from Patrick McEleney found Patterson, but after getting away from Paddy McLaughlin, his low drive from 18 yards was gathered by ’Stute keeper Corey Wilson.
On 78 minutes the all important winning goal came when another clever pass by Patrick McEleney released Patterson, who this time calmly rounded Wilson, before making no mistake slotting the ball into the empty net.