Shelbourne kept their hopes of winning the Só Hotels Women’s National League title alive as they impressively defeated Cork City 4-0 in Bishopstown on Sunday afternoon.

A debut goal for youngster Mia Dodd and a brilliant hat-trick from Noelle Murray was enough to see Shelbourne secure the three points that they needed as they look to catch Peamount United at the top of the table.

This was the fifth and final meeting between these two sides this season and it was the Dublin club who emerged victorious on the previous four occasions, including last weekend’s enthralling Women’s FAI Cup quarter-final tie which finished 3-2 to the visitors at this venue.

Shels manager Dave Bell made just the one change to his side from that triumph with Under-17 star Mia Dodd coming in for debut in the place of Isibeal Atkinson.

City boss Rónán Collins named an unchanged side from that fixture which was arguably their best performance of the season and again there wasn’t a lot between the teams in a cagey first half here.

But the visitors would take the lead midway through the first half as they were given a penalty which Noelle Murray coolly slotted past the keeper from the spot.

The Leesiders did threaten to grab an equaliser before the interval but after good work from Zara Foley and Christina Dring – less than 24 hours after the striker scored a penalty in Alan Bennett’s Testimonial at Turner’s Cross. Eabha O’Mahony’s goal-bound shot at the back post was well blocked by the recovering defence.

Sophie Liston impressed in this fixture last time out and the youngster almost created a goal for her side in the 43rd minute but her excellent cross from the right was headed inches wide of the target by the Christina Dring.

Cork would rue not being able to convert either of those goal scoring opportunities as Shelbourne doubled their advantage at the beginning of the second period with Noelle Murray again dispatching a penalty with the minimum of fuss.

The home side had a couple of penalty appeals waved away and their rivals added a third just shy of the hour mark.

And it was a moment to remember for Mia Dodd as her powerful strike from all of 20 yards sailed past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

Shelbourne added a fourth with the game drawing to a close as Noelle Murray completed her hat trick with another superb finish to seal another impressive victory for her side.

Cork City: Maria O’Sullivan, Nathalie O’Brien, Ciara McNamara, Christina Dring, Eadaoin Lyons, Katie McCarthy, Saoirse Noonan, Eabha O’Mahony, Zara Foley, Sophie Liston, Sarah Jones.

Subs: Abbey McCarthy, Danielle Burke, Maggie Duncliffe, Rachel O’Regan, Riona Crowley, Kate O’Donovan and Liz O’Connor.

Shelbourne: Rachael Kelly, Jessica Gargan, Alex Kavanagh, Jessica Ziu, Emily Whelan, Kate Mooney, Alannah McEvoy, Mia Dodd, Jenny McDade, Noelle Murray, Rebecca Cooke.

Subs: Isibeal Atkinson, Taylor White, Courtney Maguire, Leah Doyle, Jessica Gleeson and Jamie Finn.


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