A goal in either half from Conor Keeley and Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters gifted Cabinteely an easy 2-0 win over Shelbourne in their SSE Airtricity League First Division clash at Stradbrook Road on Friday night.
The centre-back gave the home side lead with just over half an hour gone from the penalty spot after a foul on Joe Doyle.
Shels pushed for an eqaliser after the break but were denied at every turn, and were finally killed off after a gorgeous effort from Waters with eight minutes to go.
A big chance for Cabo went awry after just four minutes as Waters nicked a ball in midfield and drove at the Shels defence. A slip from Gavin Boyne let him in and he nearly finished off a rolled cross from Karl Byrne, but he sliced it painfully wide from close range.
Shels broke down the other end but Adam Evans’ cross was far too high for James English, and the genral pattern of the game was soon established.
Shels sat deep and looked to Alan Byrne to release the front three, while Cabo, mainly through Waters and their full backs, aimed to play around the red wall.
Shels did have the ball in the net off a long ball in from James O’Brien after fifteen minutes, but the finish from David O’Sullivan would not count as Kevin Knight was upended in the build up.
A Shels ball in the 25th minute was headed clear by Keeley, but it came back the other side and Evans drew a great reaction save from Finn McGowan low to his left.
It was the Reds best chance, and they were made pay for the miss in the 33rd minute when James Brown barged into the back of Joe Doyle. The penalty was deservedly given, and former Red Keeley stepped up to dispatch high to the right of Dean Delany.
Shels then had a peno shout of their own turned away after Knight and English collided in the box, while Jack Watson was booked for diving moments later attempting to incriminate Lorcan Fitzgerald.
The final chance of the half came when Dayle Rooney sent in a free from almost at the corner flag, and it nearly caught everyone out as it dipped and fell just over the corner of the goal.
Shelbourne dictated much of the play during the early part of the second period, retaining possession with relative ease, but without Cabo coming out of shape their direct game was ineffective.
English had a good second half but, in truth, O’Sullivan and Byrne were poor. Jamie Doyle was a more positive outlet, but his introduction in the last fifteen minutes was ultimately too late.
O’Sullivan had a cutback chance that tested McGowan at his near post eight minutes into the second half, while Evans blasted over from 18 yards after a sustained period of Shels pressure. It was a lot of hit and hope, though, and McGowan went untroubled for the rest of the half.
The first warning shot came when Joe Doyle flashed a chance over after 58 minutes, then a series of never-ending corners from Watson and Casey continuously tested the Shels nerve – which Alan Byrne held, clearing many with a typical rising header.
McGowan had to take an easy catch from an Aaron Molloy header after 73 minutes, following a good run by English, but Cabo finally got their second goal eight minutes from time, when a long ball was looped over Byrne and Delany and in on the volley by Waters from an improbable angle. A touch of class in a game that lacked it a lot at times, but the Cabo captain ensured all three points on the night for the South Dublin side.
Two more chances came from Shels corners, but neither could test McGowan as Cabo stood firm.
Cabinteely: Finn McGowan; Karl Byrne, Kieran Butler, Conor Keeley (Sean Fitzpatrick 60), Kevin Knight; Eoin Stokes, Dean Casey (Kaleem Simon 79), Andy O’Reilly, Jack Watson; Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters, Joe Doyle (Aaron Robinson 90+2).
Subs Not Used: Sean Hyland, Conor Early, Stephen Ball, Paul Fox.
Booked: Watson (39), O’Reilly (78)
Shelbourne: Dean Delany; James Brown, Gavin Boyne (Mark Hughes 71), Alan Byrne, Lorcan Fitzgerald; Aaron Molloy, Dayle Rooney, James O’Brien; James English, David O’Sullivan (Jamie Doyle 75), Adam Evans.
Subs Not Used: Lee Steacy, David Mulcahy, Dylan Grimes, Shane Farrell, Cian Kavanagh.
Booked: English (69), O’Brien (87)