Chasing pack lose ground in Turner's Cross stalemate
Cork City 0 Shamrock Rovers 0
Both sides will view a scoreless draw in Turner's Cross as a missed opportunity, but neither did enough to secure victory.
With City having conceded six goals and Rovers eight - records bettered only by leaders Dundalk - a shootout was never a possibility but even one goal looked unlikely.
Kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes as Rovers were delayed due to a motorway crash and perhaps that was a reason for the first half never getting going. Apart from a low Brandon Miele shot for Rovers which Mark McNulty almost allowed to slip through his grasp, a goal always looked remote, though Michael Drennan did shoot into the City side-netting before half-time.
Too often, the hosts found themselves with little space to work with in the final third and they were unable to find any kind of fluency despite Liam Miller's best efforts.
The second half, in front of a crowd of 4,138, brought an increase in intensity but the incidences of goalmouth action didn't markedly increase. Again, Rovers looked likeliest to get the opener and on 54 minutes it took a good Darren Dennehy block to deny right-back Simon Madden.
Just before the hour, Dennehy had City's best chance but, after Mark O'Sullivan cushioned the ball back to him from his brother Billy's corner, the centre-back headed straight at Craig Hyland.
Shortly after, the home fans had a penalty shout when O'Sullivan looked to be held by Simon Madden and late on sub Garry Buckley saw his header hit the top of the bar from a Colin Healy free-kick.
At the death, Maxime Blanchard had a chance from a Rovers corner and was then possibly tugged back, but nothing accrued for the visitors.
CORK CITY - McNulty; Kavanagh, Murray, D Dennehy, O'Connor; Healy, Miller; B Dennehy (Gaynor 80), Holohan (Buckley 65), Sheppard (Lehane 81); O'Sullivan.
SHAMROCK ROVERS - Hyland; Madden, Kenna, Blanchard, Byrne; Cregg, Fahey; G Brennan, R Brennan (McCabe 86), Miele; Drennan (Waters 77).
Ref - P Tuite (Dublin)