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A first half hat-trick from Kate Mooney, a Fiona Donnelly brace and an own goal was enough to see Shelbourne secure second spot in the Continental Tyres Women's National League.

The Reds controlled the game from the off and two superbly taken goals from the in-form Mooney had the visitors three to the good just after the half hour mark, before Donnelly put the game beyond all doubt midway through the second half.

Prior to even kicking a ball on Sunday, Shels had learnt their faith in their challenge for the league title as Wexford Youths were crowed champions on Saturday evening but that didn't stop Danny Crowley's determined young guns.

Jamie Finn should have opened the scoring in the tenth minute but her free header went narrowly wide after a well-worked corner.

Shelbourne continued to asked questions of the Limerick defence and minutes later Rachel Graham could only watch on as her headed effort edged past the near post.

The visitors' early chances were certainly a sign of things to come as Kate Mooney picked up on a misplaced pass with just 14 minutes on the clock.

Taking a look up, the in-form striker took a touch, spotted Connolly off her line and put it over the young goalkeeper's head to open the scoring from 25-yards out.

Just over 10 minutes later, Mooney added her second goal and doubled her sides' lead, lopping the ball into the far corner after she found herself in space at the edge of the penalty area.

Shelbourne continued their high intensity game and were duly rewarded for their efforts when Kate Mooney stepped up to the plate yet again, securing a well-deserved hat trick with 32 minutes gone.

To their credit, Limerick didn't give up but Shels' class shown through in the second half as Fiona Donnelly added a fourth from close-range as the hosts continued to look nervy in defence.

Danny Crowly's side wrapped up all three points when an own goal handed Shels their fourth after a timely Alex Kavanagh cross caused a mix up at the back.

Shelbourne weren't done yet and, moments later, Donnelly found the back of the net to grab her second of the game as she latched on to a superb through ball from substitute Noelle Murray to secured a comfortable win for the Dublin side at Hogan Park.

Limerick: Karen Connolly; Sophie Glesson (Maura Shine 70), Tara Mannix, Therese Hartley (capt.), Megan Kelleher, Meg Brennan; Lauren Keane, Marie Curtin (Anna Shine 60), Carys Johnson, Shannon Parbat (Amber Kenny 68); Chloe Connolly.

Shelbourne: Rachel Kelly; Seana Cooke (Noelle Murray 60), Jessica Glesson, Pearl Slattery, Isibeal Akhkinson; Fiona Donnelly, Alexandra Kavanagh, Rachel Graham (capt.), Jamie Finn (Oleta Griffin 68), Alannah McEvoy; Katie Mooney.

Referee: Vicki McEnery

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