Shelbourne racked up an impressive five goal win over a depleted Cork City on Saturday afternoon in the Só Hotels Women’s National League at Tolka Park.

An Emily Whelan brace set the Reds on their way as Alannah McEvoy, Alex Kavanagh and sub Kate Mooney added the gloss to an imperious performance from the Richmond Road outfit.

The Cork team came into the Tolka Park showdown against the Reds with a heavily depleted squad.

It was a quick start from Shelbourne who created plenty within the opening ten minutes of the game. City ‘keeper Maria O’Sullivan stood tall to keep the game scoreless as the trio of Emily Whelan, Rebecca Cooke and Alex Kavanagh all went close for Dave Bell’s side.

Shelbourne lined up with two wing-backs as they enjoyed plenty of space down the flanks early on with both Cooke and Alannah McEvoy profiting from the Reds expansive play.

Shels were soon rewarded for their early dominance, taking the lead halfway through the opening period through Emily Whelan.

Whelan shot past a helpless O’Sullivan in the City goal after being slipped in by some brilliant play on the right-hand side to score her sixth of the season.

Jessica Ziu very nearly made it two shortly after, forcing a good save from the busy Cork netminder from range.

City’s concession of Whelan’s opener signalled a bit of life in their play and they went mightily close through Megan Sheehan.

Sheehan was fed in by captain Katie McCarthy, but Amanda McQuillan got out quick to smother the danger.

The 18-year-old went even closer minutes later but McQuillan was alert to avert the danger with a well timed save after Christina Dring’s delivery into the penalty area.

Despite soaking up plenty of pressure, Cork were undone just before the break as McEvoy poked home after Alex Kavanagh’s delivery on the right.

It was a cruel blow for the Rebels who grew into the game as they went one behind through Whelan’s opener.

Shels continued their relentless pressure from the opening period and grabbed a third as Kavanagh slotted past O’Sullivan from the penalty spot minutes into the second half.

Finn was taken down by Christina Dring and the Reds scored their 44th of the season in front of the afternoon sunshine at Tolka Park.

Shels made it four just minutes later when Whelan scored her second of the game just before the hour mark when she bundled home after being found by the lively Cooke who was enjoying her freedom on the left-hand side.

With no subs on their bench, Cork were unable to try and alter the course of the game and could have found themselves further behind as Whelan’s looping header went over the bar after some good work on the wing by McEvoy.

Finn then tested O’Sullivan with a superb long-range strike that looked set for the top corner, but it was clawed away before Kate Mooney fired her rebound off the side-netting.

Mooney was not to be denied however as she scored her first with just her second touch of the game to make it five for Dave Bell’s title-chasing side.

Shels went in search of a sixth as the final whistle approached with referee Alan Carey chalking off a late goal as Maria O’Sullivan was caught in the back as she looked to claim Kavanagh’s floating ball into the six-yard box.

Shelbourne: Amanda McQuillan; Jess Gargan (Fiona Donnelly, 77), Pearl Slattery (Lynn Craven, 63), Jamie Finn, Alex Kavanagh, Jessica Ziu, Rachel Graham, Alannah McEvoy, Emily Whelan, Rebecca Cooke (Kate Rooney, 73), Chloe Mustaki.
Booked: Rebecca Cooke (60).

Cork City: Maria O’Sullivan; Danielle Burke, Maggie Duncliffe, Christina Dring, Katie McCarthy, Éabha O’Mahony, Riona Crowley, Megan Sheehan, Shaunagh McCarthy, Kate O’Donovan, Liz O’Connor.
Booked: Katie McCarthy (83).

Referee: Alan Carey.


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