NFL Div 2: Louth 1-10 Cork 0-10
Louth came back from behind to end a mammoth 66-year losing streak against Cork at DEFY Páirc Mhuire.
The win was the Wee county’s first success over the Leesiders since the 1957 All-Ireland final but that result was not the only significance on the day.
The victory now sets Mickey Harte’s side up with a preposterous head to head clash next weekend with Dublin in Croke Park for a place in Division 1.
And if successful, Louth will be the only team to climb all four divisions in successive seasons.
The absurd scenario has nothing to do with the way Louth are playing, just adds the context to the journey they have been on since Harte’s three year reign began.
Ironically Cork looked to be in pole position for the two league points when the returning Steven Sherlock landed three first half points to open up a five point gap.
However, Louth counter attacked superbly to create a penalty. Ryan Burns was fouled and he eventually finished off the spot kick after his first strike was saved by Mícheál Aodh Martin.
That lifeline was crucial as Louth only trailed by one at the break 0-8 to 1-4 and to compound matters, Cork lost Daniel O'Mahony's straight red card just before the short whistle.
Cork edged the resumption but Luke Fahy’s 51st minute point would be John Cleary’s side's last score. Louth were relentless at both ends of the field in the finish.
Goalkeeper James Califf crucially denied Ruairí Deane and, at the other end, Ciarán Downey gave the hosts the lead for the first time in the game with eight minutes remaining.
With that, Louth never looked back and finally swung the record books back in their favour.
SCORERS: Louth: R Burns 1-0, C Downey (1f), T Durnin and L Jackson 0-2 each, D McConnon, C Lennon, C Grimes and C Early 0-1 each. Cork: S Sherlock 0-4 (2f, 1’45), L Fahy 0-2, C Corbett, C Óg Jones R Maguire, and T Walsh 0-1 each.
Louth: J Califf 9; D Corcoran 6, P Lynch 7, D McKenny 6; L Grey 6, C Murphy 6, C McKeever 6; C Early 6, T Durnin 8; N Sharkey 7, L Jackson 7, C Grimes 7; D McConnon 6, C Downey 7, R Burns 6. Subs: B Duffy 7 for Grimes (35), C Lennon 7 for Burns (45), O McGuinness 7 for Jackson (54), C McCaul 6 for McKenny (57), J Hughes 6 for McConnon (66), P Mathews 6 for Durnin (74).
Cork: M Aodh Martin 6; M Shanley 7, D O’Mahony 5, T Walsh 6; L Fahy 8, R Maguire 7, S Meehan 6; C O’Callaghan 8, I Maguire 6; E McSweeney 6, S Powter 6, R Deane 6; C Óg Jones 7; S Sherlock 8, C Corbett 7. Subs: B O’Driscoll 6 for McSweeney (54), K O’Hanlon 6 for Jones (62), J O’Rourke 6 for Corbett (62), C Kiely 6 for Fahy (73), M Cronin 6 for Sherlock (73).
Ref: F Kelly (Longford)