One win from their remaining four matches is all that Shamrock Rovers need to clinch the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division title after second-placed Bohemians were held to a 0-0 draw by reigning champions Dundalk at Oriel Park
While Stephen Bradley's men are not in action for the next couple of weeks due to a number of Covid-19 cases, it now looks certain that the league title is heading for Tallaght for the first time since 2011.
This result was not much use for either side, with Keith Long’s side needing all three points to keep the pressure on the Hoops and Dundalk hoping for a win to continue their push to qualify for Europe next season.
While Filippo Giovagnoli’s side sit in third place with a game in hand over fourth-placed Waterford FC, they also have the distraction of the Europa League to contend with next week.
The match itself was one of few clearcut chances, but perhaps one of the biggest fell Bohs’ way on four minutes when they should really have taken the lead.
After Keith Ward’s effort was blocked, the rebound fell invitingly to Andre Wright 12 yards out, but with only Gary Rogers to beat he fired agonisingly to the left and wide.
Cameron Dummigan then stung the palms of James Talbot with Dundalk’s first effort on nine minutes before Ward sent a dipping effort over Rogers’ crossbar at the other end two minutes later.
Sean Gannon was proving to be the home side’s best attacking outlet, with dangerous crosses from him presenting chances for Patrick McEleney on 13 minutes and Patrick Hoban on 35 minutes, which neither player was able to direct on target due to good pressure from Paddy Kirk on each occasion.
Bohs then went close twice in quick succession five minutes before half-time.
Andy Lyons saw an effort turned around the post by Rogers after being slipped in by Promise Omochere. The resulting corner from Anto Breslin was then met by the head of Wright, but he could only head onto the roof of the net.
It was the home side who threatened first on the restart, with Michael Duffy’s 48th-minute cross picking out the inrushing Daniel Kelly, but the former Bohs man was denied at close range by Michael Barker’s block.
Duffy would then go close himself seven minutes later after being slipped in by a brilliant piece of skill from Hoban on the left, but his effort flashed agonisingly across the face of goal and wide.
Duffy then almost repaid the favour for Hoban on 58 minutes when he curled a superb free-kick in from the right for the striker to meet, but he couldn’t find the target.
Bohs went close themselves on 62 minutes when Omochere’s cross was headed goalward by Wright. Ward nipped in and looked destined to find the net, but somehow Rogers kept it out.
Hoban then glanced a header just wide at the other end a minute later from Nathan Oduwa’s cross.
Danny Grant and Dummigan had long-range efforts at either end, the first of which was straight at Rogers, with the second flashing just wide of the post.
Dundalk had a great chance to win it on 86 minutes when Dummigan's cross broke to Gannon, but he slashed at it and failed to find the target.
Hoban did test Talbot again with a good effort in stoppage time, but the keeper was equal to it as Dundalk were held to back-to-back scoreless home draws in the league for the first time in 15 years.
Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Daniel Cleary, Cameron Dummigan; Chris Shields, Greg Sloggett; Daniel Kelly (Nathan Oduwa 51) (Stefan Colovic 75), Patrick McEleney (Sean Murray 65), Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban. Subs not used: Aaron McCarey, Jordan Flores, David McMillan, Andy Boyle.
Bohemians: James Talbot; Andy Lyons, Michael Barker, Paddy Kirk, Anto Breslin; Keith Buckley, Conor Levingstone; Promise Omochere, Keith Ward (Danny Mandroiu 74), Danny Grant; Andre Wright. Subs not used: Stephen McGuinness, Dinny Corcoran, Ross Tierney, JJ Lunney, Evan Ferguson, Jack Moylan.
Referee: Damien MacGraith (Mayo).