The Ireland international was at her composed best in capitalising on an error in the UCD Waves defence by dribbling around goalkeeper Brooke Dunne and squeezing her shot home from a difficult angle.
That breakthrough at Lansdowne Road after 34 minutes gave Cork the platform that their early play deserved and they were rarely threatened by the pre-final favourites for the next hour.
In fact, more clinical finishing would have given City a bigger winning margin but getting the first piece of silverware secured was the main objective.
Shine’s match-winner was not the only reason she collected the player of the game accolade. The 22-year-old defended from the front and caused the Students all sorts of problems with her movement and trickery.
Long flagged as a future international from her days as a childhood star, Shine is currently out of Colin Bell’s squad despite winning her senior bow last year.
Had she remained in the semi-professional ranks at Glasgow City rather than returning home at Christmas, her case for inclusion might be stronger. However, she’s no intention to rushing back cross-channel while she’s in this content stage of her life.
“I needed to come home for various reasons,” she explained. “It probably wouldn’t have happened only for the belief I had in this Cork City team and the management.
“I’m very happy at the moment — especially after winning the FAI Cup for my hometown club — so I won’t rush into any decision about my future withot discussing it with my family.
“I’ve spoken to Colin (Bell) and know there’s a lot of work involved. Right now, I just want to celebrate this trophy.”
Shine had lifted the trophy previously with Raheny United but this occasion was particularly special.
“I’ve grown up with these girls and so the scenes at full-time were very emotional,” she said. “We’ve worked hard and fully deserve this. At the start of the season, players were missing matches due to work commitments but things changed and we’re looking to push on for a league challenge next year.”
UCD’s mission of corralling Shine looked an uphill task from the early stages. She should have opened the scoring on 28 minutes when Saoirse Ronan’s pass released her into space but an attempted lob cleared the crossbar.
Shine’s accuracy, however, was on display six minutes later. Katie McCarthy’s through-ball wasn’t cut out by Emily Cahill, enabling the striker to skip past goalkeeper Brooke Dunne and nestle the ball home from an acute angle with her weaker left foot.
Cork had limited UCD to efforts from distance and set-pieces until Amanda Budden’s misdirected clearance presented Catherine Cronin with an open goal but her first-time shot sailed harmlessly wide.
Instead of being forced to sit back, Cork conjured a number of chances to extend their winning margin.
They should have made the tie safe 14 minutes from the end only for Danielle Sheehy to fire her low effort straight at the feet of Dunne in the UCD goal. Thankfully, Shine’s contribution was sufficient.
A Budden; D Burke, C McNamara M Duncliffe, N O’Toole; K O’Donovan (C Dring 64), K McCarthy; S Ronan (L Kelly 83), M Bourque, D Sheehy; C Shine.
B Dunne; A Dunbar (S Gaynor 90), C Walsh, E Cahill, R Carroll; C Mustaki, K Duggan; C Cronin, D Beirne (T O’Gorman 83), A Dunbar; K Letmon (N Chemaou 64).
P Brady (Dublin).