Jamie Finn’s late header was enough to keep Shelbourne’s slim Só Hotels Women’s National League title hopes on track on Sunday afternoon at Tolka Park.

Wexford took a first-half lead through Lauren Kelly, before the Reds secured the win, thanks to goals from both Emily Whelan and Jamie Finn in the second half.

Lying just two points behind leaders Peamount with two games to play, Dave Bell made no changes from his side’s 2-0 defeat away to the Peas in the Só Hotels FAI Women's Senior Cup semi-final.

Tom Elmes’ charges saw one alteration from their semi-final win over Galway WFC, with Maeve Williams dropping out in place of Ciamh Dollard.

The hosts started well, and if it wasn’t for the alert Dollard, Emily Whelan would have given the Reds an early lead.

Rebecca Cooke found the forward with a fine through ball, but the Youths shot-stopper was on hand to smother the danger despite taking a hit for her troubles.

McKenna Davidson impressed for Youths early on, linking up well with Irish international Rianna Jarrett, but the best they could conjure up together in the opening third of the first half was a header that went harmlessly wide at the near post.

Having grown into the game after a slow start, the South-Easterners took the lead just before the halfway mark of the first-half through Lauren Kelly.

Kelly nicked the ball off Shels defender Jessica Gargan, before rifling her effort into the top corner – leaving Rachael Kelly in the Reds goal with no chance.

Youths almost grabbed a second minutes later through the brilliance of Kelly on the left flank. The forward found the head of Jarrett who could see her effort on goal just ultimately seep away from danger.

In fact, it was Wexford who continued to impress during the latter stages of the first-half, with Bell left cutting a frustrated figure in the home team’s dugout as they went in behind at the half-time break.

After a lacklustre opening half display, the Reds reacted well to their half-time dressing down as Whelan levelled with just seven minutes on the clock in the second half.

Cooke forced a fine stop by Dollard, before the resulting ball fell to the forward who made no mistake from inside the six-yard box.

However, the Reds were almost caught unawares moments later as Aisling Frawley linked up well with Jarrett, but the forward was unable to make her chance pay.

The chances continued to flow – with Cooke once again proving to be a thorn in the visitors rear-guard, but Dollard comfortably saved from the wing-back.

The Reds continued to pepper the Youths goal, with Chloe Mustaki going close next, as her fiercely his drive was palmed away by the busy Dollard.

Jarrett then saw her cross turned shot cause issues in the hosts six-yard box, but Kelly was alert to the danger – scrambling the rebound away from goal.

Searching for a winner to save their slim title hopes, Shelbourne were very nearly caught out on the break with just over fifteen minutes to play.

Kylie Murphy fed in the impressive Jarrett who cut inside to shoot, but her effort was saved well by the hosts netminder.

Despite almost falling behind, the Reds took a priceless lead with just under ten minutes of play remaining through the head of Jamie Finn.

Finn’s header from just six-yards out was thundered into the back of the net, with Tolka Park letting out a roar of approval as the hosts title charge continued with a dramatic finish on Dublin’s Northside.

Shelbourne: Rachael Kelly; Chloe Mustaki, Pearl Slattery Jessica Gargan; Rebecca Cooke (Isibeal Atkinson, 86), Jamie Finn, Alex Kavanagh, Jessica Ziu; Alannah McEvoy (Niamh McLaughlin, 76), Noelle Murray (Kate Mooney, 77), Emily Whelan. Booked: Pearl Slattery (69)

Wexford Youths: Ciamh Dollard, Orlaith Conlon, Edel Kennedy, Ciara Rossiter (Aoife Slattery, 86), Nicola Sinnott; Lynn Craven, Aisling Frawley (Lauren Dwyer, 66), Lauren Kelly, Kylie Murphy; McKenna Davidson (Becky Cassin, 86), Rianna Jarrett.

Referee: Paula Brady

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