Shelbourne 0 Shamrock Rovers 0
Shamrock Rovers' title ambitions suffered a setback as Shelbourne held the champions to a scoreless draw at Tolka Park.
Chances were at a premium to say the least in a tense Dublin derby, with Hoops defender Daniel Cleary going closest to breaking the deadlock after his piledriver smacked the crossbar from 35 yards out midway through the second-half.
Rovers could have extend their lead at the top to four points with victory, but now have just one win in their last seven on the road after Thursday’s draw in Drumcondra.
While Shels' Premier Division status is all but safe this season, it’s now six league games without a win for Damien Duff’s side.
However, Shelbourne will be pleased to take points off the Hoops for the first time this season.
Both sides had plenty of the ball in the first-half but struggled to create clear-cut chances.
Dylan Watts saw his effort well blocked on the half-hour mark before Sean Boyd struck well wide of the goal.
After the break, Graham Burke fired wide while Cleary went inches from being contender for goal of the season, but his driving effort cracked the crossbar in what was a superb strike.
Boyd almost nodded in another sublime Shane Farrell cross, before Rovers keeper Alan Mannus had to be alert to Matty Smith’s daisy-cutter.
Substitute Aodh Dervin’s effort rolled just wide in the closing stages, as Rovers' lead now sits at two points.
SHELBOURNE – Clarke; Ledwidge, Byrne, Griffin; Farrell, Molloy, Lunney (Coyle 75), Wilson; Smith, Boyd, McManus (Dervin 25)
SHAMROCK ROVERS – Mannus; Kavanagh, Cleary, Gannon; Farrugia (McCann 45), Watts (Towell 72), O’Neill, Finn; Byrne, Gaffney (Greene 65), Burke (Emakhu 74)
REF – B Connolly