It was the home side that made the early running, Daryl Kavanagh scooping an effort over the Derry bar from Derek Doyle’s cross and, three minutes later, Derry ‘keeper Ger Doherty had to be quick out of his goal to beat Danny North to an Anto Murphy cross.
The passing from St Pats remained sharp and on 12 minutes Kavanagh found space on the left and pulled back a cross for Dave Mulcahy that the sliding midfielder side footed narrowly over the bar from 15 yards.
But Derry went ahead after 32 minutes. A delicate through ball from Ruaidhri Higgins found Stephen McLoughlin and the winger rolled his shot wide inside Gary Rogers’ right hand post.
But Pats kept their cool and reaped the reward just moments before half time when a ball from Neil Harney played North through and the striker touched the ball past Doherty.
The second-half saw Pats continue to dominate but chances were few and far between.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Rogers; Shortall, E McMillan, Harney (Keegan, 90), Bermingham; Murphy, Mulcahy, Bradley, Doyle; North, Kavanagh.
DERRY CITY: Doherty; S McEleney, Greacen, Molloy, Lafferty; McGlynn, Higgins, Deery, P McEleney (Harkin, 62), McLoughlin; Zayed
Referee: Alan Kelly (Cork).