A GOAL after just 20 seconds from veteran David Dunne proved crucial as Louth survived a late rally in Darver.
It was the perfect start for the home side, who bossed the opening exchanges, but a foot strike from Dermot Begley three minutes before half-time brought Queen's right back into it and they adjourned just two points in arrears, 1-8 to 1-6.
Louth produced another impressive start to the second period, knocking over four points without reply. They took their foot off the gas in the final quarter and Brian Curran handed Queen's a lifeline with a 64th-minute goal.
But that was the last score as Louth held out for another home tie against Kildare at the same venue next Sunday.
SCORERS – Louth: S Fennell 0-4, G Smyth 0-3, D Dunne 1-0, D Murphy, D Kettle 0-2 each, A Mackin, D Horan 0-1 each. Queen's: C Corvan 0-5, B Curran 1-2, D Begley 1-0, C Reid 0-1.
LOUTH – J Connolly; D McArdle, W Morrissey, D Rafferty; D McKiernan, D Horan, D Murphy; N Stanley, S Callan; D O'Hanrahan, S Fennell, David Dunne; Andrew Mackin, Gerard Smyth, David Kettle.
QUEEN'S – P Heaney; D Kinney, D McGarry, A Lofthouse; C Coulter, C McClelland, F Donnelly; A Grant, S O'Callaghan; C Reid, C Corvan, B Curran; D Begley, D Hobbs, C McGarry.
REF – S Masterson