The Hoops had early chances when first winger Billy Dennehy had a shot from the edge of the box well saved by Bohemians’ keeper Barry Murphy and then striker Gary Twigg had a shot deflected out for a corner.
Twigg shot into the side netting when a pass to the unmarked Gary O’Neill might have paid bigger dividends. The Scottish striker almost made amends seconds later with a glancing header pushed away by the diving Murphy.
All that early pressure was bound to tell with skipper Dan Murray breaking the deadlock on 32 minutes. A corner on the right by Dennehy was powerfully headed home by the unmarked Murray.
Killian Brennan twice went close to an equaliser for the visitors when first seeing an effort well saved by Richard Brush before the ‘keeper pushed away Brennan’s dangerous free on the left.
After a Stephen Rice foul on Aidan Downes, Bohemians were unlucky not to equalise when Killian Brennan’s free from 22 yards cannoned off the upright with Brush beaten.
More drama was to follow when striker Downes, who had been booked earlier, was shown the red card by Dublin referee Derek Tomney on 44 minutes for a second yellow card offence — this time for diving in the box after claiming he had been fouled by Jim Paterson.
Despite being down to 10 men, Bohemians silenced the 5,000 home crown with a superb equaliser on 59 minutes when Anto Flood crossed from the left for Glen Cronin to rifle home a volley from 25 yards into the corner of the net.
Substitute Ciaran Kilduff wasted a glorious chance of a winner for the Hoops when heading wide on 84 minutes after a cross from Pat Sullivan had opened up the visitors’ defence.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Brush; Sullivan, Sives, Murray, Paterson; Dennehy, Finn, Rice (Turner 65), McCabe; Twigg (Kilduff 45), O’Neill (Ricketts 78).
BOHEMIANS: Murphy; O’Brien, Burns, Price, Cahill; Forrestor (Fagan 85) , Bayly (Traynor 55), Cronin, Brennan (Hurley 45); Flood, Downes.
Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).