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Shelbourne Ladies secured an important three points in their pursuit of the Continental Tyres Women’s National League title as they defeated Cork City 2-1 at Bishopstown on Sunday afternoon.

Second half goals from Alannah McEvoy and Jamie Finn was enough to earn Shelbourne the victory at the expense of a plucky Cork City side, who responded in vein through Danielle Sheehy.

Shelbourne started the game the better side and they ought to have taken the lead within the opening minutes.

Noelle Murray’s precise through pass sent Isibeal Atkinson through on goal but the striker was unfortunate to see her effort clip the outside of the right-hand post.

The duo combined effectively in the ninth minute as Murray again played Atkinson in with a defence-splitting pass but on this occasion, City goalkeeper Eve Badana raced off her line to deny the forward.

The homes side created their first opportunity of note on the quarter of an hour mark but after cleverly flicking the ball over the head of her opponent and charging towards the area, Michelle O’Driscoll drilled her powerful attempt wide of the left post.

The Dubliners remained in control of possession as the half wore on but they almost gifted City the lead with 33 minutes on the clock.

A lack of communication between the advancing goalkeeper and her defence almost allowed Saoirse Noonan a sight at the target but the forwards weak shot while on the turf was cleared on its way to the net by the recovering rear guard.

Cork’s Eve Badana was twice called into action late in the first period but she was equal to Alex Kavanagh’s fierce drive at her near post before also gathering Noelle Murray’s scuffed attempt from a good position.

The FAI Cup holders almost took a lead into the half time break but following a brilliant run from Katie McCarthy, which saw her skip past two of her markers, the attacking midfielder's clipped effort past the keeper was hacked off the line by Jessica Gleeson.

But the stalemate was finally ended shortly after the restart as Alannah McEvoy finished a fine attacking move to give Ladies the advantage.

Isibeal Atkinson broke the Cork offside trap and rather than going for goal when through with the keeper she decided to unselfishly roll the ball across the face of goal for McEvoy to hammer home at the back post.

And Shelbourne quickly added a second after another sweeping attacking move just shy of the hour.

Alex Kavanagh’s pinpoint pass released Noelle Murray inside the penalty box and she immediately squared it, allowing Jamie Finn to roll the ball into the empty net.

City, to their credit, continued to battle and they pulled a goal back with just over twenty minutes remaining as substitute Danielle Sheehy headed Maggie Duncliffe’s set-piece into the bottom right corner.

But it proved to be a just a consolation as despite a late spell of City pressure, Shelbourne were able to hang on for the win.

CORK CITY: Eve Badana, Nathalie O’Brien, Danielle Burke, Ciara McNamara, Mary Barrett (Courtney O’Keefe 61), Eadaoin Lyons (Danielle Sheehy 61), Saoirse Noonan, Michelle O’Driscoll (Christina Dring 71), Maggie Duncliffe, Katie McCarthy, Emma Farmer.

SHELBOURNE LADIES: Amanda McQuillan, Seana Cooke, Jessica Gleeson, Alex Kavanagh, Rachel Graham, Noelle Murray, Jamie Finn, Niamh Prior, Lynn Craven, Isibeal Atkinson, Alannah McEvoy.

Referee: Jonathan Hennessy.

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