The Candystripes opened brightly and might have opened the scoring as early as the second minute. David McDaid worked space for himself after coming in from the left touchline, his effort on goal was dipping just under the bar but Peter Cherrie managed to get his hand to it and flip it over the bar.
Derry would have been pleased with their efforts in the first 25 minutes, but fell behind in the 26th. Michael McGowan may well have won himself the Dundalk FC goal of the season award in this final outing of the season. With play in the midfield area, McGowan sensed that Gerard Doherty in the Derry goal might be loitering off of his line, his shot hammered from just inside the Derry half just had the strength to creep over the back-peddling Doherty’s finger tips and into the Derry goal. He may not be compared to Beckham very often but after this effort, the modelling offers could well be heading his way.
Derry continually tried to beat the Dundalk offside trap with long balls played over a high backline, but couldn’t get their timing accurate enough to send their runners through.
The start of the second half brought the Derry equaliser as a corner in the 47th minute saw Delaney tangle with Ger Rowe as he made an arcing run across the box. Delaney hit the deck in front of referee Tomney and he had no hesitation in pointing to the spot; Rowe got a booking for his protestations. McGlynn had no problem placing the ball home to the left of Cherrie's dive.
The game fell into a lull but Derry looked likely to grab the game, their greater urgency in midfield made it look more and more likely that a winner would come for them.
Dundalk managed their obligatory red card in the 73rd minute as Darren Mansaram collected a second booking on the left hand touchline and became the 19th Dundalk player to see red this season. Paul Newman’s ice hockey team in the film Slap Shot had a better disciplinary record than Sean Connor's boys this season.
The winner duly arrived as Tam McManus won a corner on the right, James McClean swung in a left footer to the tall centre half who headed home from six yards far too easily.
Dundalk set out with the aim of survival and have managed that with something to spare so must be pleased with their efforts for the season. Derry can be pleased with their end position but the financial vultures that are circling many clubs might have the last word on their season yet.
Dundalk FC: P Cherrie; N Murphy, T Heary, L Burns, C Turner, M McGowan, M Coburn, M Daly, S Kelly; G Rowe, D Mansaram.
Derry City FC: G Doherty; E McCallion, C Delaney, P Hutton, G O’Brien; B Molloy, K Deery, G McGlynn, J McClean; T Stewart, D McDaid.
Referee: Derek Tomney
Attendance: 1500 estimate
Extratime.ie man of the match: Michael McGowan - great goal and always willing to show for the ball, if only the final ball was better.