Philip Morrissey reports from Turner's Cross
Goals in either half from Garry Buckley helped Cork City recover from their European disappointment to regain ground on Dundalk with a 5-0 home win over Derry City.
Damien Delaney and Ronan Coughlan both scored their first Rebel Army goals, while Jimmy Keohane also got on the scoresheet, as the home side ran rampant against the Candystripes.
Kenny Shiels' men were outclassed throughout and fortunate not to concede more as, aside from isolated opportunities, they struggled to create any clear chances.
Both teams surprisingly made the minimum of changes following a tough travelling schedule during the week.
John Cotter - stepping in for John Caulfield, who was serving a one match touchline ban – kept faith with those who started the game in Warsaw.
Shiels, meanwhile, rewarded Ronan Hale for his goal scoring exploits off the bench in Minsk. His brother, Rory, missed out with suspension.
It was the home side who started on the front foot as, straight from the kick-off, they attacked down the right and Keohane being bundled over.
He took the free-kick himself and Karl Sheppard was not far off with a flicked effort. Further chances arrived for Keohane with a 25 yarder and a McNamee chance, from whuch he should have done better.
In between, Ronan Hale and Ben Fisk combined for a shot which was deflected over.
Derry were finding it tough to keep City at bay however. McNamee, Sheppard and Keohane all hassled and harried their opponents whenever they were in possession and drove forward with purpose when they had the ball themselves.
They did have a glorious opportunity to strike first, though, when they combined well down the right-hand side before Jamie McDonagh delivered the ball into the box but Hale was only able to find the crossbar. They were to regret that soon after.
Another attack broke down thanks to a well-timed challenge from McLoughlin. It was quickly fed forward towards McNamee.
He found Sheppard, whose superb ball found the on-running Buckley. He had time to compose himself before slotting past Ger Doherty.
With their tails up, further chances arrived. Buckley and McNamee were just off target, but a second goal was soon to arrive and it was a moment Doherty will wish to forget.
Graham Cummins held it up and turned superbly before finding Keohane. Having being just off target earlier, the midfielder was encouraged to try again.
His shot was powerful but straight at the Derry netminder, however it managed to squirm through his grasp and into the net.
Derry almost struck back immediately as a set piece was delivered into the area which caused an element of panic.
As it pinged around, City were forced to clear the ball off the line twice in succession. The second of these owed to the combination of Peter Cherrie and Steven Beattie.
Instead, it was City who were to stretch their lead. A brilliantly worked team effort saw a combination of passes through the channels before Cummins was played into space on the left.
Rather than shooting, he rolled a pass into Buckley, who had the simple task of tapping home. The final touch may not have been exhilarating but some of the work proceeding it was.
The 3,573 in attendance were to be given a rare surprise. A corner wasn’t cleared effectively, only finding Sheppard. His cut back was perfectly placed to the head of Damien Delaney.
The returning hero scoring for the first time since leaving for England all those years ago – perhaps his first goal ever at the cross.
As the clock began to run down, City wrapped up their five-star performance. A Steven Beattie drive was too hot for Doherty, who spilled the attempt at the feet of the waiting Ronan Coughlan, who duly obliged with a chipped effort over the stranded keeper.
Cork City: Peter Cherrie; Steven Beattie, Damien Delaney, Sean McLoughlin (Aaron Barry 69), Shane Griffin; Conor McCormack, Jimmy Keohane; Karl Sheppard (Kieran Sadlier 76), Garry Buckley, Barry McNamee; Graham Cummins (Ronan Coughlan 66).
Subs not used: Mark McNulty (gk), Alan Bennett, John Dunleavy, Josh O’ Hanlon.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Darren Cole, Gavin Peers (Eoin Toal 56), Dan Seaborne; Jamie McDonagh (Conor McDermott 56), Aaron Splaine, Dean Shiels, Aaron McEneff, Ben Fisk (Aidy Delap 66); Ronan Hale, Ally Roy.
Subs not used: Eric Grimes (gk), Cathal Farran, Evan Tweed, Ben Doherty.
Booked: Darren Cole (12), Jamie McDonagh (45+1), Gavin Peers (54).
Referee: Robert Hennessy.
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Jimmy Keohane (Cork City).