Shelbourne kept promotion in their own hands and moved a point clear at the top of the First Division table after a fiercely contested derby that saw ten bookings - seven of them to Sporting.

Shels may have had much of the ball, but it was Sporting who created the first two chances.

A mistake by Shels defender Alan Keely gifted Sporting the clearest opening before the interval on 30 minutes.

Trying to shepherd the ball out for a goal kick, Keely was cleverly dispossessed by Dinny Corcoran who raced into the area from a tight angle to force a brave stop from Dean Delaney.

David McAllister blazed a shot inches wide within three minutes of the resumption as Shels maintained the pressure.

But Dermot Keely's side were caught on the counterattack on 57 minutes. Keeper Brendan Clarke's long kick out put Corcoran in behind the Shels defence and Delaney had to get a vital touch to deflect the low shot onto the butt of his right-hand post.

Shels responded and Alan Murphy and David Freeman set up McAllister whose stunning volley saw Clarke react well to tip over the bar.

Murphy then shaved the bar with a stinging volley at the other end from substitute James Keddy's sweeping cross-field ball on 80 minutes, before Sporting wasted a gilt-edged chance two minutes later when Conan Byrne drilled wide.

Shelbourne: Delaney; Murphy, Brennan, Keely, Hedderman; O'Brien (Chambers, 86 mins.), McGill, McAllister, Rutherford (Keddy, 62 mins.); Freeman, Flood.

Sporting Fingal: Clarke; Gannon, Deans, Philip Byrne, Frost; C. Byrne (Morrisroe, 87 mins.), James, P. Caffrey, Doran; Corcoran (Hynes, 70 mins.), Paul Byrne (Doyle, 70 mins.).

Referee: Tom Connolly.