HE immensely talented Wesley Hoolahan gave Shelbourne the type of morale boost they need ahead of next Wednesday's daunting trip to Belfast for their Champions League first round qualifier against Glentoran.
With Glens boss Roy Coyle watching from the Richmond Park stand, Hoolahan delivered the only goal of a keenly fought derby against St Patrick's Athletic.
The 21-year-old produced a stunning strike on 44 minutes that ensured Shels didn't lose any more ground on Eircom League Premier Division leaders Cork City.
Shels almost took the lead on seven minutes when Ollie Cahill's cross picked out the in-rushing Richie Baker at the back post but his powerful header was parried by Barry Ryan.
Shelbourne's goal came on 44 minutes when the St Pat's defence failed to clear a corner and Colin Hawkins teed up Hoolahan for a curling 25 yard left-footed shot that beat Ryan and went in via the butt of his left hand post.
The second half saw Pat's battle hard for the equaliser that their fans among the 1,884 spectators desired and Dean Delaney produced a fingertip save to keep out a cross cum shot from Paul Donnelly while from the resultant corner Colm Foley's header was inches over.
But Shels too had their chances and Jason Byrne should have done better than hit the side-netting while Owen Heary's 25 yard drive was straight at Ryan.
The game ended on a low note for Shelbourne as Richie Baker was sent off in injury time for a second bookable offence.
© Irish Independent