Hard to believe these two Dublin rivals would be so eager to bag the points at this stage of the season. But neither of them had experienced a poorer start in recent years and there was no hiding their desire to restore some normality to their league positions.
In the end, it was St Patrick's Athletic - now without a win in four games - who remain lodged at the wrong end of the table. On 58 minutes, Richie Foran deservedly put Shelbourne ahead and just three minutes later Richie Baker sealed the points for the league champions with his first goal of the season.
Shelbourne had brought a slightly altered team to Richmond Park from that which mysteriously went down to Finn Harps last week. Dropped to the bench were Dessie Baker and Jonathon Prizeman, but for a long time, the absence of the injured Stephen Geoghegan appeared to leave a major shortfall in their attack.
If anyone deserved to press ahead in the first half, however, it was Shelbourne. Their commitment was always the more obvious, especially with Baker loose and vigorous down the right wing. James Keedy was particularly effective and twice came close to scoring. First with a near-post header on the quarter hour that called Seamus Kelly in the Shelbourne goal into action for the first time.Shortly afterwards, he floated the ball from further out but this time it landed on the roof of the net.
In contrast, the St Patrick's attack was far more lightweight. Newcomer Michael Holt was only briefly threatening and James Harris was even more anonymous alongside him. Just before the half-hour mark, the hosts were lucky to escape. Baker played the perfect ball for Keddy and only the fast approach of Kelly prevented a goal.
St Patrick's appeared to be getting back into the game and certainly had cause to feel hard done by seven minutes into the second-half when Paul Byrne, chasing a through ball from midfield only to clip the leg of Steve Williams as he tried to turn around the keeper. What looked like a certain penalty actually ended up with a booking for Byrne, who was judged by referee John Feighery to have taken a dive.
Once Foran put Shelbourne ahead, however, the result was never in doubt. A short-range free was somewhat fumbled in the goalmouth before Foran deceived the St Patrick's defence and found the decisive boot.
Baker's goal was far more impressive, following a smart onetwo between Keddy and Tony McCarthy and although Foran missed the initial cross, Baker made no mistake with his chance.