A quality strike from Ciaran Kilduff in the second half was all that separated the sides after a keenly contested game on a mild and calm night in Tallaght Stadium.
Rovers almost got off to a great start when a move involving Alan Kehoe and Stephen Rice on 7 minutes saw Gary McCabe cross for Thomas Stewart to head goalwards but Cherrie pushed away his effort and the ball fell to Shane Robinson who saw his left foot shot crash off the post and away to safety. Two minutes later a McCabe corner was headed on by Chambers and Robinson headed over from a central position.
The game settled down and the next chance didn't arrive until the 24th minute when Osborne's cross for the visitors almost saw Byrne get the vital touch in front of goal. On 27 minutes a Kilduff cross was deflected away from Stephen Rice and Robinson couldn't connect with the ball. Ken Oman then headed McCabe's free-kick across goal.
Good defending from David Elebert kept out two crosses in succession from John Montney after 32 minutes and just before the break a Conor McCormack high ball into the area saw Oman's header fall to McCabe on the edge of the box but his shot was blocked.
The Lilywhites had a good chance after 8 minutes of the second-half when Byrne was played into the Hoops area on the left but he elected to turn inside on to his right foot and allowed Ken Oman to get across to block his shot.
[GOAL 1:0 - 56th min.] The deadlock was broken when Ciaran Kilduff dispossessed Dane Massey on the right-hand edge of the area and he fired a great shot high into the corner of the net to give Peter Cherrie no chance.
Stephen Rice fired a shot just over the bar following a one-two with Kilduff just after the hour mark while at the other end Keith Ward hit the side-netting with a shot from Towell's cross. Dundalk started to push men forward and Osborne played Montney in over the Hoops defence on 68 minutes but Ken Oman got back to deny him a shot on goal.
On 75 minutes a Rice low ball gave Kilduff an opportunity to shoot in the box but his effort was blocked and the ball fell for sub Sean O'Connor who forced Cherrie into a good save at his near post. On 79 minutes Robinson played O'Connor in on the left with a nice pass but Osborne got across to get a vital block on the ball.
Dundalk applied the pressure in the final ten minutes and Osborne found Towell in space on the right with a fine long ball out of defence but fortunately Towell's first time volley went wide of Murphy's goal. Towell had a chance a minute later when he stretched to reach Faherty's cross from a quickly taken free-kick but he couldn't guide the ball on target.
In the 86th minute sub Dillon shot wide from a good position just outside the box and as the game entered the four minutes of added-on time Kilduff forced Cherrie to save his low driven shot from 20 yards out. Dundalk's last chance to equalise came when Keith Ward shot low from the edge of the box but Richard Brush was alert to dive to his left to push the ball away. Brush then punched the resultant corner away to safety.