Andrew Dempsey reports from Tolka Park
Shelbourne rounded off their title-winning campaign with a comfortable win over beleaguered Limerick on Saturday evening.
Jaze Kabia opened the scoring halfway through the opening period, before Conan Byrne struck just before the break.
Kabia scored his second of the night in the second, along with a spot-kick from Shane Farrell before Oscar Brennan made his mark after.
Aidan Friel then struck with just over 20 remaining, before Kabia grabbed his hat-trick on the 73rd minute.
On a night of celebration at an emotional Tolka Park, the Reds made three changes from their recent win at United Park – a result that saw them clinch the First Division title for the first time in their history.
Dayle Rooney returned in place of Ciaran Kilduff, Conan Byrne came in place of Karl Moore while Dean Delany started the final game of his illustrious 23-year long his career, replacing the imperious Colin McCabe.
The Blues, who have struggled in recent weeks, opted to make two alterations from their recent defeat in Galway – with Sean McSweeney and Clyde O’Connell bot making their returns in place of Alan Murphy and Adam Foley.
And it was in fact the First Division champions who started well, with Byrne forcing a top class save from Jack Brady after some good interplay between the former St Patrick’s Athletic winger and Jaze Kabia.
Tommy Barrett’s side soon grew into the game, however, they barely threatened, with set pieces being the source of many of their attacks.
Ian Morris’ side were bright during the opening stages, and they ought to have taken the lead through Shane Farrell.
Farrell, who only just signed a two-year contract extension as of Friday, could only head straight at a grateful Brady after Aidan Friel’s cross from the right found the young midfielder.
The 22 year old Limerick keeper was soon called into action again shortly afterwards, producing a stunning save from Kabia’s effort on goal on the volley.
Limerick’s Lee Devitt then had a low drive on goal that Delany comfortably saved, before the Reds soon took the lead through the former Cobh Ramblers forward Kabia.
The 18 year old got on the end of a long pass from deep to slot home into the net, as the hosts took a deserved lead in front of a fervent home crowd.
The Super Blues had their moments however, with O’Connell’s header just going wide from a free-kick, but they were soon undone by a lapse in defensive concentration just before the break.
Byrne got on the end of a loose ball, curling an effort home with his left foot to send the hosts in at the break with a comfortable lead.
Continuing on from where they finished in the first, the Reds were awarded a penalty as Derek Prendergast was taken down in the box.
Farrell, who has had a fine weekend already, stepped up to slot a Panenka past Brady who was booked shortly after for striking the ball at the goalscorer who was running away from goal.
Kabia then made it four moments later, getting on the end of a pass from deep to score his second of the night.
Bad went to much worse for the Super Blues just before the hour mark, as Oscar Brennan scored his fourth league goal of the season, slotting home a Byrne pull-back on the right.
However, the biggest cheer of the night came for the retiring Delany, who was taken off just on the hour mark – and was serenaded by an appreciative home crowd.
Friel then made his mark on the game with a fierce low drive on goal that beat a visibly demoralised Brady at the near post.
Kabia the grabbed his hat-trick with just under twenty remaining on the clock, slotting home past the Limerick keeper at the near post with the aid of a deflection to end a horrid night for Barrett's young side.
All in all, it was a result fitting of a title-winning campaign for the hosts who can now focus on celebrating their return to the top-flight after a long six-year absence.
Shelbourne: Dean Delany (Colin McCabe, 60); Luke Byrne, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Aidan Friel, Derek Prendergast; Oscar Brennan, Ryan Brennan, Conan Byrne (Denzil Fernandes, 66), Shane Farrell, Jaze Kabia, Dayle Rooney (Ciaran Kilduff, 81).
Subs not used: Daniel McKenna, Darragh Noone, Alex O'Hanlon, Sean Quinn.
Limerick: Jack Brady; Robbie Williams; Edmond O'Dwyer, Clyde O'Connell (Alan Murphy, 54), Aaron Fitzgerald (Sean Madigan, 75), Lee Devitt Molloy, Karl O'Sullivan, Andy Quaid, Shane Tracy; Sean McSweeney, Kieran Hanlon (Adam Foley, 54).
Subs not used: Ciaran O'Reilly, Callan Scully.
Booked: Jack Brady (49), Alan Murphy (71), Shane Tracy (83), Robbie Williams (87).
Sent off: None.
Referee: David Dunne.
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Jaze Kabia (Shelbourne).