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Shelbourne did enough to take the title race right down to the wire as they finished their season with a 3-0 win over DLR Waves that leaves them, for four days at least, top of the table.

Rebecca Cooke scored early in each half, while Jessica Ziu and Emily Whelan were also on target, to pile the pressure on Peamount United ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Cork City.

Waves began the game on the front foot but fell behind to the first meaningful attack after four minutes as Cooke wandered in off the left wing to open the scoring.

A cross from Alannah McEvoy deceived the Waves defenders and sat up perfectly for Cooke to shoot back across a wrong-footed Eve Badana.

Cooke was involved in most of Shels’ good work in the opening period and she curled an effort straight at Badana moments later and glanced a header on goal on the quarter-hour.

Waves’ first chance arrived three minutes later as Leanne Payne cut in from the right and played the ball into the path of Kerri Letmon, but the striker’s left-footed shot skewed wide.

Cooke forced Badana into another routine save from a Jamie Finn cross and Emily Whelan shot over before an excellent block from Ally O’Keeffe denied Ziu.

O’Keeffe went one better moments later as Whelan was played in on goal, the centre-half taking a risk and reaping the rewards as she nicked the ball off the striker’s toe as she wound up shoot.

A purple patch for Waves, to which Sinéad Gaynor was central, ensued with Payne, Fiona Donnelly and Kerri Letmon all going close.

Badana produced an outstanding save to keep it 1-0 when he touched Noelle Murray’s goalbound shot onto the crossbar as Shels re-asserted control.

And they doubled their tally two minutes before the break, and there was nothing Badana could do about a stunning effort from Ziu that rippled the top corner of the net.

Just as they had in the first, Shelbourne struck four minutes into the second half and it was a second for Cooke, the winger striding clear of the defence and expertly picking out the corner.

Cooke continued to get into good positions and looked to have sealed her hat-trick only for a brilliant block from the retreating Donnelly to deny her.

She would later be forced off following a collision in the Waves box, and her replacement, Isibeal Atkinson, was the architect of the fourth goal.

Shels broke quickly on the counter and Ireland international Atkinson played in Whelan, who took her time before slotting past Badana.

DLR Waves: Eve Badana; Nicole Keogh, Róisín McGovern, Ally O’Keeffe, Niamh Prior; Sinéad Gaynor, Fiona Donnelly, Sophie O’Donoghue (Nadine Clare 59); Leanne Payne, Catherine Cronin, Kerri Letmon (Orla Casey 68).

Shelbourne: Rachael Kelly; Jess Gargan (Rachel Graham 83), Pearl Slattery, Jenny McDade; Noelle Murray (Niamh McLoughlin 68), Alex Kavanagh, Jamie Finn, Jessica Ziu, Rebecca Cooke (Isibeal Atkinson 66); Alannah McEvoy, Emily Whelan.

Referee: Sarah Dyas.

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