Football: Shels Put a Hoo-Do on the Saints; St Pat's 0 Shelbourne 1 WES WINNER SEALS IT

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael SCULLY

A TOUCH of magic by Wes Hoolahan allowed Shels to keep pace with Cork City at the top of the eircom Premier Division last night - and provided a welcome boost to the Reds ahead of their Champions League opener next week.

Inconsistent Shels found the going tough in a typical Dublin derby at Richmond Park and had Richie Baker sent-off at the end of normal time following an altercation with Keith Fahey of the Saints.

But Hoolahan's sublime moment of skill just before half-time was enough and the win keeps them six points behind Cork in the title race - and it was a goal that deserved to win any game.

Colin Hawkins did the spadework, retaining possession just inside the Pat's penalty area before laying the ball back to Hoolahan - who struck a brilliant left-foot shot from 18 yards beyond goalkeeper Barry Ryan, off the far post and in.

The goal provided Shels with just their fourth win in the last 12 games and they will be relieved to get a victory under their belts prior to their trip to Belfast to face Glentoran.

It was also the highlight of a scrappy encounter short on goal-area incident, as both sides put in a huge amount of effort with little end result to show for it.

Interestingly Fenlon chose to start without Dave Rogers at the heart of the Shels defence - preferring the combination of Colin Hawkins and Dave Crawley, with Ollie Cahill playing at left-back. …