O'Neill earns breathing space for Rebels
Cork 0-20 Derry 2-10
Colm O'Neill exceeded last week's nine-point individual tally when he converted a match-winning 11-point haul to hand Cork victory at Celtic Park.
The victory eased Cork's relegation worries, while defeated Derry must win at Fermanagh next week amidst the final day mathematical madness.
Ballyclough marksman O'Neill was the sharpest thorn in Derry's side in the opening half, notching up six points to edge Cork ahead by 0-10 to 1-6 at the break.
Danny Tallon found the net in both halves, but in truth Derry never really looked like winning against a hungrier Rebel side.
Indeed, O'Neill added a further five points after the interval as both he and Paul Kerrigan found their scoring range to guide Peadar Healy's men home.
Chrissy McKaigue marked his Derry return with the opening score of the game, but within minutes of that Cork raced to a 0-4 to 0-1 lead.
McKaigue led the Derry fightback with a second score and when Tallon rattled the back of the net, it handed the home side the lead in the 30th minute.
But every time Derry threatened, Cork bit back savagely. A Mark Collins point, followed up by an O'Neill brace, regained their lead by half-time.
O'Neill's seventh point, a beauty in which he held off two men before dissecting the posts, stretched that lead to two before Neil Forester's effort made it a single-point affair in the 40th minute.
Once again, Peadar Healy's men tapped on the gas and by the mid-point of the second-half led 0-14 to 1-7.
Scorers - Derry: D Tallon 2-1, C McKaigue, E Lynn, B Herron (2f) 0-2 each; N Forester, N Loughlin, M Lynch (f) 0-1 each. Cork: C O'Neill 0-11 (7f), P Kerrigan 0-5, M Collins 0-2; J O'Rourke, B O'Driscoll 0-1.
Derry - T Mallon 6; J Rocks 6, B Rogers 7, N Keenan 6; N Forester 7, C McKaigue 8, M Craig 6; C McWilliams 7, P Cassidy 6; E Lynn 7, E McGuckin 7, C McAtamney 7; D Tallon 8, N Loughlin 6, B Herron 7. Subs: C Mullan 6 for J Rocks (27), M McEvoy 5 for C Mullan (33), D Heavron 5 for M Craig (44).
Cork - K O'Halloran 6; M Shields 8, Tom Clancy 7, K Crowley 6; Tomas Clancy 7, J Loughrey 7, S Cronin 6; I Maguire 7, R Deane 6; J O'Rourke 7, M Collins 8, K O'Driscoll 6; C O'Neill 9, P Kelleher 8, P Kerrigan 8. Subs: C O'Driscoll 7 for T Clancy (h-t), D O'Connor 6 for P Kelleher (45), B O'Driscoll 7 for J O'Rourke (57), D Og Hodnett 6 for M Collins (60), J McLoughlin 6 for S Cronin (63).
ReF - M Duffy (Sligo)