St Patrick's Athletic striker Mark Quigley led Derry City a merry dance at the Brandywell last night, the Inchicore club's top hitman taking the match ball home after what was a superb individual performance.
However, while Quigley may have been hailed the hero, the workrate and creativity of Pat's centre midfield pairing of Alan Kirby and Keith Fahey can't be underestimated, their efforts clearly fashioned this victory.
Quigley certainly benefited from their work and his memorable hat-trick consolidates Johnny McDonnell side's second placing behind Bohemians.
The win now sees Pat's move five points clear of Stephen Kenny's men who clearly struggled in the vital areas after making a special half-time presentation to Paddy McCourt before he moves to Celtic.
After a first half which saw both team effectively cancel each other out, chances were at a premium.
The busy Mark Quigley blasted the ball high over the crossbar during the early stages while the same player lost out when defender Clive Delane, hacked the ball clear following a free-kick in the 33rd minute.
Derry's Kevin Deery was the only player to launch a shot on target when he forced Barry Ryan into a save one minute before the break.
But the visitors caught Derry cold after the break, and broke the deadlock in the 50th minute when Quigley netted the first of his three goals.
Keith Fahey intercepted a Derry cross before sending Glen Fitzpatrick clear on the left and his centre found the advancing Quigley who netted from close range.
Derry keeper Gerard Doherty had to be at his best to deny a Stephen Paisley header following a corner in the 59th minute, the keeper parrying the effort wide.
The home side went close to equalising in the 77th minute but Mark Farren's overhead kick from close range was directed into Ryan's hands.
Five minutes from the finish Pat's ended the match as a contest when a back-pass from Clive Delaney saw keeper Doherty crash his clearance against the body of the Quigley and the Pat's striker gleefully rolled the ball into the unguarded net.
And Quigley capped a superb St. Pat's performance when he completed his hat-trick in the 88th minute.
On that occasion Ryan Guy broke on the right flank with Derry committed forward and his perfect centre saw Quigley curl the ball beyond the reach of the advancing Doherty.