Cork 0-16 Louth 0-14
Cork came from behind to score a 0-16 to 0-14 win over Louth in the All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers at Portlaoise.
Louth led by 0-9 to 0-8 at the break, thanks to points from Colm Judge, Aaron Hoey and Shane Lennon.
But Cork grew in stature as the game progressed, and five James Masters points saw them safely through to the draw for the quarter-finals.
The Rebels looked comfortably on course when they led by 0-6 to 0-3 after 13 minutes.
Derek Kavanagh had got them going after just 20 seconds, and Donncha O’Connor, corner back Kieran O’Connor and Kevin McMahon were also on target.
Louth kept in touch, thanks to the tireless efforts of midfield pair Paddy Keenan and Ronan Carroll, with Brian White and Aaron Hoey, both from frees, and Colm Judge splitting the posts.
Between the 14th and 28th minutes, the Wee county outscored Cork by five points to none as they eased into a 0-8 to 0-6 lead, the pick of their scores coming from the elusive Judge, who turned marker O’Connor inside out before clipping over from an acute angle.
Meanwhile, at the back, Alan Page and Alan O’Brien grew in stature, heading off a succession of Rebel raids.
McCarthy ended an 18-minute scoreless spell for Billy Morgan’s side, before Kevin McMahon narrowed the deficit to one at the break.
The sides turned around with Louth leading by 0-9 to 0-8, and they forged further ahead in the early stages of the second half when Keenan drilled an exquisite 60 metre pass for Shane Lennon to score, with substitute Darren Clarke, from a free, and Mark Stanfield converting a ‘45’ for a three points advantage.
Both sides crafted goal chances, Lennon just failing to get enough purchase on Carroll’s cross, before McMahon sent Masters clear, but Stuart Reynolds reached superbly, deflecting the close range shot over the bar.
The Rebels were on a roll, though, finally getting some momentum going. McMahon fisted them level, and a Masters free had them back in front on 48 minutes, for the first time in almost half an hour.
Nicholas Murphy began to make a major impact in the central area, and the Rebel defence tightened things at the back, cutting out the runs of dangermen Hoey and Judge.
A sequence of six Cork points on the spin was finally interrupted, after 17 barren minutes, by a fine effort from Hoey
Anthony Lynch, Ger Spillane and Canty stood firm, stifled their opponents and looked a much more compact and well organised unit than they had in a nervy opening half.
Cork scorers: J Masters 0-5 (3 frees), D O’Connor (3 frees), K McMahon 0-3 each, K O’Connor, D Kavanagh, N Murphy, C McCarthy, P O’Neill 0-1 each.
Louth scorers: A Hoey 0-4 (2 frees), S Lennon, C Judge, D Clarke (1 free), B White (2 frees) 0-2 each, R Carroll, M Standfield (‘45’) 0-1 each
Cork: P O'Shea, M Shields, G Canty, K O'Connor, J Miskella, G Spillane, A Lynch, D Kavanagh, N Murphy, C McCarthy, P O'Neill, K McMahon, J Masters, M Cussen, D O'Connor.
Subs: F Gould for McCarthy (66), D Goulding for McMahon (66), E Sexton for Shields (70)
Louth: S Reynolds, S Page, C Goss, J Neary, P McGinnity, M Fanning, J O'Brien, P Keenan, M Farrelly, B White, A Hoey, M Stanfield, C Judge, S Lennon, R Carroll.
Subs: D Clarke for White (h-t), R Finnegal for Farrelly (53), D Finnegan for McGinnity (53), JJ Quigley for Stanfield (63), J Murray for Judge (67)
Referee: M Duffy (Sligo)