Nobody should have been surprised by the stand-out performance that Ciara Grant produced in Shelbourne's 3-1 triumph over Cork City. Why? Well, because she has been playing like that for her entire career.

Some may have expressed doubts about her match sharpness or even hunger to compete in the Women's National League after briefly stepping away to start a career as a Doctor. But within seconds of the kick-off in Tolka Park those fears were wiped out.

Grant, who was operating as part of a midfield three alongside Jamie Finn and Alex Kavanagh, started the game with the same intensity of a player chasing a last-minute winner in a Cup Final. This was her comeback and she wasn't going to waste a single second of it.

Let's make something clear, the Donegal native is a supremely gifted footballer. She may not possess the technical ability that others have but she reads the game as if it were a favourite book, able to recite passages blindfolded, and that's not to suggest that she can't play a bit too because she can.

There was a spin over the ball that got her out of a tricky situation early in the first half that delighted the Shels supporters, but angered their manager Dave Bell. He wanted Grant to play it simple. She listened and started to deliver with an 87% accuracy in lateral passes and an 88% accuracy in progressive passes.

Watching Grant in action it was obvious as to why she was part of the Republic of Ireland Women's Under-17 team that finished as runners-up in the 2010 WU17 European Championships and went on to earn over 10 caps for the Ireland Women's Senior Team. She is a classy player and Shels are lucky to have her.

The former Raheny United and UCD Waves player might have been expected to occupy the pivot in front of the Shels defence, but she was actually playing higher up the pitch and that is how she got into a great position to score the home side's second goal when heading in from close range.

Grant will be a terrific asset to Bell this season and the younger midfielders, such as Kavanagh, Finn, and Mia Dodd, should learn a lot from her. Could she be an X-Factor in The Reds' title push? Could she even earn a recall to the Ireland set-up? Time will tell, but let's just be happy that one of the best players to grace this League is back dominating in it again.