In somewhat cruel circumstances, Conor McManus missed a late 42 metre free that would have earned Monaghan a share of the spoils in front of a 5,248 Castleblayney crowd.
Cruel in the sense he kicked nine points, winning six of the eight frees he converted, in an absorbing game that was level on nine occasions.
But this was a worthy victory for Cork who looked to be struggling on ad couple of occasions in the second half only for Colm O'Neill to drag them back into it each time with expertly-taken goals.
Cork trailed by four points in the 42nd minute when Ian Maguire collected a kick-out, drove forward and initiated an attack which saw Donncha O'Connor and John O'Rourke combine to set O'Neill up.
Monaghan recovered well with four scores on the bounce before O'Neill followed a free with a piledriving goal in the 55th minute, taken receipt of a Mark Collins pass.
Once more, the home side responded strongly and the sides were level on three further occasions in the final 15 minutes of action. It was O'Neill who ultimately and fittingly sealed the affair with an injury time point after Collins had hit the post in the penultimate minute of normal time.
Cork actually didn't score their first point from play in the 29th minute. It was their only score that didn't come by way of a free in the first half.
The deadball expertise of Donncha O'Connor and O'Neill kept them well within reach of Monaghan throughout the half and they could count themselves misfortunate not to be awarded a penalty in the 18th minute when Colm O'Driscoll was clearly pulled back in the parallelogram.
Four minutes later and Monaghan found the net. After a Paul Kerrigan score attempt fell short, the ball was worked up the field where Ryan McAnespie found Kieran Hughes and he rifled a drop-kick past Ken O'Halloran.
That opened up a three-point gap but Cork had reduced their arrears to one by the break, 1-6 to 0-8, when O'Connor was on hand to punish a black card foul on him by Dessie Mone.
Scorers for Monaghan: C McManus (0-9, 8 frees); K Hughes (1-0); P Finlay (0-3, 1 free); F Kelly, K Duffy, C Boyle, D Malone (0-1 each).
Scorers for Cork: C O'Neill (2-6, 0-4 frees); D O'Connor (0-5, 4 frees); B O'Driscoll, B Hurley, E Cadogan (0-1 each).
Subs for Monaghan: V Corey for D Mone (black), T Kerr for D MacKenna (both h-t); D Clerkin for N MacAdam (57); K O'Connell for S Gollogly, O Duffy for R McAnespie (both 66).
Subs for Cork: K O'Driscoll for P Kerrigan (h-t); M Shields for C O'Driscoll (51); J Hayes for D O'Connor, D Óg Hodnett for B Hurley (both 66).
MONAGHAN: R Beggan; D Wylie, C Boyle, R Wylie; D Mone, K Duffy, F Kelly; N McAdam, P Finlay; D Malone, S Gollogly, R McAnespie; C McManus, D McKenna, K Hughes.
CORK: K O'Halloran; E Cadogan, Thomas Clancy (Clonakilty), J Loughrey; B O'Driscoll, C Dorman, Tomás Clancy (Fermoy); I Maguire, M Collins; J O'Rourke, D O'Connor, C O'Driscoll; C O'Neill, P Kerrigan, B Hurley.
Referee: F Kelly (Longford)