A late-headed goal by former Derry City midfielder Sean Houston gave Finn Harps a point in a 2-2 draw at the Brandywell.
Derry City started the derby slowly, playing very deep against a Harps side that started the opening period brightly.
The Derry defence fell asleep after four minutes when David Scully had a half chance at goal, before Ryan McBride recovered well, clearing the loose ball.
It took the Candystripes 15 minutes to have their first shot on goal. Their top goalscorer Rory Patterson received the ball outside the box and tried to lob keeper Ciaran Gallagher, who was off his line, but Gallagher managed to catch the ball with ease.
It looked like Derry were beginning to get into the game with every other passage of play, but after 20 minutes Kenny Shiels' side received a sucker punch. A ferocious shot by David Scully hit the post, but former Derry midfielder Ryan Curran was there to nod in his second goal against Derry this season.
Ollie Horgan would have been pleased with his side's opening, starting the game fairly comfortably against a Derry side that had only conceded three goals at home this season.
A frustrated home crowd spurred Derry City on and they showed signs of a good response when Patrick McClean played a great ball through to Barry McNamee. The Donegal man volleyed the ball towards Gallagher, who once again dealt with it easily.
The best chance of the half for Derry came after 25 minutes when Patterson went past the Harps defence, who were fairly solid up until that point. Derry’s top goalscorer tried another lobbed shot over Gallagher but he couldn’t convert and the effort went passed the post.
Just before half-time Derry had another opportunity when Barry McNamee played a lovely ball from a corner to Ronan Curtis who was waiting outside the area. The Derry man hit a low shot towards Gallagher, but the goalkeeper made another great save.
Shiels' side started the second half much better than the first and they looked determined to get the equaliser.
It was all one-way traffic for a while and Derry had a flurry of chances to make the game level. McNamee squandered a great opportunity inside the area, putting it just past the post.
A few minutes later Conor McCormack played a clever ball through to Keith Ward – who was through on goal – but Gallagher was there once again to save Harps.
McCormack was beginning to control the midfield play and a few minutes later he played another fantastic ball through to Curtis who couldn’t convert, putting it just past the post.
Derry City continued to press, but former Brandywell Captain Barry Molloy had a fantastic game just in front of the Harps defence, frustrating the Derry attack.
Substitute Ethan Boyle had Finn Harps' first shot on goal in the second half, when the winger cut inside past Niclas Vummelund, before hitting a shot straight at Gerard Doherty.
Derry added fresh attacking legs to the fray after 77 minutes when they brought on Joshua Daniels and Nathan Boyle for Ward and Curtis.
Shiels must have knew it wasn’t his sides day when a perfectly timed cross from Niclas Vemmelund was met by Dean Jarvis who looked certain to score, but Gallagher pulled off another superb save.
The pressure continued and the substitutions worked when Daniels was gifted a chance inside the six yard box, the local man converting the chance to make it all square after 83 minutes.
The solid Finn Harps defence suddenly turned shaky and a few minutes later Derry were in front. Youngster Daniels played through Patterson who got his seventh goal of the campaign when he cut past full-back Damien McNulty and smashed it into the Harps goal.
The derby game looked to be finished when Derry kept possession well with only minutes remaining, but resilient Harps kept at it, and when a good crossed ball was played into former Candystripe Houston, the midfielder got up well to head home the equaliser deep into injury time.
A cracking derby almost had one last bit of drama when Nathan Boyle side-footed a golden opportunity wide from three yards after a Vemmelund cross.
Derry City will rue the chances they missed in the second half, but a great performance from goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher earned his side a hard-fought point.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Niclas Vemmelund; Aaron McEneff Ryan McBride, Patrick McClean; Conor McCormack, Barry McNamee, Keith Ward (Nathan Boyle 77), Ronan Curtis; (Joshua Daniels 77) Aaron Barry; Rory Patterson.
Subs not used: Shaun Patton; Jordan Allan; Conor McDermott; Ryan Doherty.
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Damien McNulty; Ciaran Coll; Keith Cowan; Packie Mailey; Ryan Curran; Tony McNamee; (Ethan Boyle 74) Sean Houston; Adam Hanlon; (Michael Funston 86) Dave Scolly; Barry Molloy.
Subs not used: Richard Brush; Kevin McHugh; Thomas McMonagle; Ryan McConnell; Liam Flatley.
Booked: Packie Mailey (36), Damien McNulty (78) Ethan Boyle (84).
Referee: Neil Doyle.
Attendance: 1,900 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Player Of The Match: Ciaran Gallagher (Finn Harps).