Goals from Joseph Ndo and Jason Byrne at Dalymount Park strengthened champions Shelbourne's grip on the Inter-Toto Cup position as they beat Shamrock Rovers 2-0.
A first or second finish appears out of Shels' grasp but third spot remains in their control after their third league win on the spin - allied to Longford's loss below them.
Shels deserved the win with super sub Ndo putting them ahead in first half injury time - and Byrne sealing it from the spot after 58 minutes.
In truth, they should have hit the opener long before ex-Cameroon international Ndo eventually did with a string of first-half chances.
Colin Hawkins, Byrne and captain Owen Heary all went close and Byrne even had a goal ruled out for offside three minutes before the break.
They finally hit the net in injury time when sub Ndo took off on a winding solo run before blasting low and left to the net.
The trickery of the former World Cup star allied to the skill and pace of wingers Wes Hoolahan and Bobby Ryan ran Rovers ragged.
And it was no surprise that Man of the Match Hoolahan was involved in their second too, playing in the ball that saw Byrne hauled down by Willo McDonagh in the box.
Byrne dusted himself down and rifled home the resulting penalty to seal his 12th league goal of the season.
Shamrock Rovers: Murphy; Sweetman (58), Shelley, McDonnell, Rutherford; Molloy, Kenny (Tracey 70), McDonagh, Sheridan (Douglas 84); Quigley, Foley.
Shelbourne: Delaney; Heary, Hawkins, Rogers, Cahill; Ryan (Baker 87), Reynolds (Ndo 39), Crawford, Hoolahan; O'Neill, J Byrne (Harris 81).
Referee: A Kelly (Cork).