Bohemians left Tallaght the happier as they posed questions of Shamrock Rovers' title credentials to frustrate their arch-rivals in a derby that rarely sparked to life.

Having bemoaned the fact his side were creating plenty of chances in recent games but not converting them, Bohs boss Owen Heary endure more of the same.

It was Rovers, though, and Ciaran Kilduff in particular, who were left to rue more of the wasted opportunities on a night of frustration for them.

Despite hoping that a broken nose wouldn't keep him out of the game, Rovers’ Jason McGuinness was unable to feature. 

That meant David O'Connor returned to league action for the first time since the opening match of the season to form a new central defensive partnership with Rob Cornwall.

Eamon Zayed’s wonder winner against Athlone last week saw him make only his fourth start of the season as Hoops boss Trevor Croly went with two in attack.

With President Michael D. Higgins once again an interested spectator at a domestic game, there was some early derby intensity when Rovers’ left-back Luke Byrne was booked for clattering into Craig Walsh inside three minutes.

Rovers passed it well in the opening exchanges with Bohemians keeper Dean Delany worked by Kilduff on 12 minutes. 

Gary McCabe whipped over a cross from the left which the striker controlled before spinning his marking and forcing a save from Delaney with his feet.

Their passing a little less precise, Bohs were slow to get into the game, though an error by Cornwall gifted them their first opening on 25 minutes.

Walsh knocked the ball past the hesitant Rovers defender to run by him and cross low for the in-rushing Karl Moore at the far post. The finish was weak, however, as the winger shot into the side netting when he should have done better.

In perhaps the move of the first half on 39 minutes, Kilduff and Stephen McPhail combined to set up McCabe whose shot had the power but was directed well wide.

Bohs lost captain Dave Mulcahy to injury before almost losing a goal minutes later. Byrne picked out Kilduff from the left and his first time side-foot volley flashed wide.

Rovers then had Barry Murphy to thank in first half stoppage time as he made a terrific double save, first from Byrne and then Moore, from Walsh’s low cross from the right.

Byrne sliced wide for Bohs early in the second half before Rovers injected plenty of urgency to their game to dominate much of the remainder  of the match.

O'Connor poked over the crossbar from a McCabe corner with a Shane Robinson shot - on his 450th appearance - raising appeals for a handball in a crowded box. 

Then Ronan Finn surged in from the left to unleash a shot from some 30 yards that wasn't far wide.

Kilduff would then fluffed perhaps Rovers best chance of the night on 84 minutes. 

Substitute Sean O'Connor and Finn worked the ball to put Kilduff in on goal but, as in the first half, his drilled shot was cleared away by the feet of Delany.

Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, Rob Cornwall, David O’Connor, Luke Byrne; Ronan Finn, Shane Robinson, Stephen McPhail (Ryan Brennan 79), Gary McCabe (Sean O'Connor 72); Ciaran Kilduff, Eamon Zayed (Dean Kelly 83).

Bohemians: Dean Delany; Anto Murphy, Daniel Byrne, Aidan Price, Derek Pender; Dave Mulcahy (Roberto Lopes 41); Steven Beattie, Craig Walsh, Karl Moore (Kevin Devaney 76); Paddy Kavanagh; Jason Byrne.

Referee: Padraigh Sutton (Clare).