Allianz FL D2: Louth defeat Cork
Allianz Football League Division Two
Louth 1-10 Cork 0-10
By Dan Bannon at DEFY Páirc Mhuire
Louth have picked up a wonderful winning habit during Mickey Harte’s short three year reign and another promotion tilt beckons next Sunday in Croke Park with Dublin after coming from five points behind to plunder Cork by two in a relentless finale.
If the Wee county are successful in reaching Division One, they will have climbed every rung of the league ladder in all of those Harte years successively.
In a repeat of the 1957 All-Ireland final, it was apt that this game took place on Ardee soil and the home pitch of Dermot O’Brien, Louth’s captain on that famous day.
That streak looked set to continue however when the returning Steven Sherlock shot Cork five points to the good during a classy spell for the Leesiders.
Half back’s Rory Maguire and Luke Fahy getting in on the act during John Cleary’s side's best period. Louth despite being under pressure don’t concede many goals, and crucially stay in games.
James ‘Peach’ Califf twice denied Chris Óg Jones for certain goals and then at the other end Ryan Burns won himself a penalty. Burns’ first effort was denied superbly by Mícheal Aodh Martin but his parried effort rebounded to the Hunterstown Rovers man for the relieved finish.
That handed Louth the lifeline they needed and Cork’s Daniel O’Mahony received his marching orders just before half time. All-Ireland U20 finalist Tommy Walsh just nudged Cork ahead 0-8 to 1-4 at the turn.
Sherlock and Fahy combined to give Louth a jolt but Fahy’s point would be Cork’s last and their final time leading the game. Despite losing Donal McKenny to a black card and Ruairí Deane missing goal chances impact sub Craig Lennon and Daire McConnon combined to level.
With that winning knowhow instilled, Ciarán Downey gave Louth the lead for the first time with eight minutes remaining. In that position, in-form Louth don't relinquish those opportunities.
Home fan favourite Tommy Durnin raised the home crowd to their feet twice in a matter of minutes. The first, with his second point and then with a rousing substitution.
Downey, now with promotion firmly in his sights, then stepped up to complete the famous victory with his side's fifth point in a row.
Scorers for Louth: Ryan Burns 1-0, Ciarán Downey (1f), Tommy Durnin and Liam Jackson 0-2 each, Dáire McConnon, Craig Lennon, Conor Grimes and Conor Early 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cork: Steven Sherlock 0-4 (2fs, 1’45), Luke Fahy 0-2, Conor Corbett, Chris Óg Jones, Rory Maguire, and Tommy Walsh 0-1 eachLouth: James Califf; Dan Corcoran, Peter Lynch, Donal McKenny; Leonard Grey, Ciarán Murphy, Conall McKeever; Conor Early, Tommy Durnin; Niall Sharkey, Liam Jackson, Conor Grimes (0-01); Dáire McConnon, Ciarán Downey, Ryan Burns.
Subs: Bevan Duffy for Grimes (35), Craig Lennon for Burns (45), Oisín McGuinness for Jackson (54), Conall McCaul for McKenny (57), Jay Hughes for McConnon (66), Paul Mathews for Durnin (74).
Cork: Micheál Aodh Martin; Maurice Shanley, Daniel O’Mahony, Tommy Walsh; Luke Fahy, Rory Maguire, Sean Meehan; Colm O’Callaghan, Ian Maguire; Eoghan McSweeney, Sean Powter, Ruairi Deane; Chris Óg Jones; Steven Sherlock, Conor Corbett.
Subs: Brian O’Driscoll for McSweeney (54), Killian O’Hanlon for Jones (62), John O’Rourke for Corbett (62), Cian Kiely for Fahy (73), Mark Cronin for Sherlock (73).
Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford).