Dundalk finished off their 2022 SSE Aitricity League campaign in style on Sunday night with a 1-0 win over Derry City at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.

Keith Ward’s first half strike was enough to seal three points for Stephen O’Donnell’s men.

It was a frantic opening to the game with both sides having openings early on but it was Dundalk who hit the front after 9 minutes.

A corner was only half cleared to Ward and his stinging low half volley found its way to the bottom corner brilliantly giving Brian Maher no chance.

Both sides were reduced to ten men 20 minutes in when an altercation between Sadou Diallo and Robbie McCourt saw both shown straight red by referee Rob Hennessy.

John Martin gets away from Sadou Diallo Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Joe Thomson then had a header go just wide for the hosts while at the other end David McMillan forced a brilliant save from Maher after he was put through on goal.

Derry looked like they had equalised when James Akintunde was through on goal but his effort from point blank range was saved by Peter Cherrie while the follow up from Brandon Kavanagh was helped over the bar by Darragh Leahy.

The sting went out of the game somewhat with neither side threatening before the break and Dundalk led at the interval.

Half-time: Derry City 0-1 Dundalk

The wind picked up in the second half and neither side really got into a rhythm to begin with.

Former Lilywhite Will Patching tried his luck from an acute angle which forced a good stop from Cherrie while Akintunde had a header go wide from a Kavanagh cross.

Darragh Leahy in action against James Akintunde Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Ryan Graydon fired over the bar from just outside the area but it never threatened Cherrie with 15 minutes to go.

It should have been 1-1 with 10 minutes remaining when Jamie McGonigle fired over from 10 yards with just Cherrie to beat.

There would be no more action of note as Dundalk held on with ease to claim a win and finish off a successful season on a high.

DERRY CITY: Brian Maher; Ronan Boyce, Cameron McJannet, Shane McEleney, Daniel Lafferty (Ciaran Coll 71); Sadou Diallo, Brandon Kavanagh (Will Patching 57); Joe Thomson, Cameron Dummigan, Ryan Graydon; James Akintunde (Jamie McGonigle 71). Subs not used: Jack Lemoignan (GK), Mark Connolly, Jamie McGonigle, Patrick McEleney, Declan Glass, Jordan McEneff, Cian Kavanagh.

DUNDALK: Peter Cherrie; Lewis Macari, Brian Gartland (Andy Boyle 78), Darragh Leahy, Robbie McCourt; Keith Ward (Steven Bradley 71), Alfie Lewis; Runar Hauge, Joe Adams, John Martin (Ryan O’Kane 63); David McMillan (Patrick Hoban 71). Subs not used: Nathan Shepperd (GK), Mark Byrne (GK), Emmanuel Adegboyega, Senan Mullen.

Referee: Rob Hennessy