Derry City and Cork City played out an entertaining Premier Division encounter at a packed Brandywell.

Only the woodwork denied Kenny Shiels the points late on, while some last ditch defending by the home side ensured the champions earned a hard fought point.

The stalemate sees Cork's lead at the top cut to a point after Dundalk's home win against Sligo. 

Derry remain fourth - eight points behind the champions although the Candystripes have a game in hand. 

Derry started the early stages on the front foot but Ronan Curtis' near post header from Nicky Low's right wing corner fizzed just wide.

Cork had a half chance on 21 minutes as Sean McLoughlin's right wing centre found fellow centre-back Alan Bennett, but the big defender failed to test Derry keeper Gerard Doherty and headed over.

Just after the half-hour mark Derry, who had a lot possession in the first half, broke clear down the left thanks to Jack Doyle's run and his clever centre found Rory Patterson, but the striker failed to get a proper connection and the chance was gone.

While both sides were solid at the back it was Derry who had the first shot on target on 60 minutes but Conor McDermott's well hit drive was saved by Mark McNulty.

Moments later Cork brought on Kieran Sadlier for ex-Derry favourite Barry McNamee and it was talented winger who caused problems for the Derry defence.

The former Sligo Rovers man back flick found Karl Sheppard and his left wing centre found Garry Buckley at the back post, the midfielder's knock down for Jimmy Keohane, but he fired over from close range.

On 78 minutes a super centre found from substitute Steven Beattie saw his cross find Sadlier, but his effort was kept out by Gerard Doherty.

The champions started to up the ante a little in the closing stages with Sadlier and Beattie both denied by some great last ditch tackles from Conor McDermott and Jack Doyle.

In stoppage time a McEneff's cross-cum-shot eluded everyone and somehow hit the inside of the post and bounced in McNulty's grateful arms.

Then virtually straight away Cork were inches away from stealing the win, but Beattie's strike was parried out by Doherty and Buckley couldn't turn home the rebound.

Derry City: Doherty, McDermott (McDonagh 88), Cole, Toal, Doyle; Ronan Hale, Low, Rory Hale, Curtis, McEneff,Patterson (Boyle 83).

Cork City: McNulty, Horgan, McLoughlin, Bennett, Griffin, Sheppard (Beattie 78), Keohane, McCormack, McNamee (Sadlier 61), Buckley, Cummins (O’Hanlon 71).

Referee: Paul McLoughlin.