A goal from Colm O'Driscoll deep into injury-time stole victory for Cork from the jaws of defeat as the county won an absorbing Cadbury All-Ireland U-21 Football Championship at Portlaoise's O'Moore Park.
The Rebels led by three points at the break, 0-08 to 0-05, but the Ulster champions rallied in the second period to lead thanks to goals from Eamon Toner and captain Timmy Hanna.
But just as it looked like Down would claim a first title at this level since 1979, O'Driscoll stepped up in the 62nd minute to hammer a rebound from Aidan Walsh's saved shot to the net.
Cork: A Seymour; S McLoughlan, L Jennings, N Galvin; C O'Driscoll, A Walsh, B Daly; C O'Donovan, K O'Driscoll; C Sheehan, M Collins (0-02), C O'Driscoll (1-00); C O'Neill (0-05, 2f), D Goold (0-05, 3f), P Honahan. Subs: J Fitzpatrick (0-01) for Sheehan (32); B Lombard for Jennings (49); B O'Driscoll for Honahan (62); L McLoughlin for K O'Driscoll (62).
Down: G Joyce; M Digney, C Murney, D Turley; T Hanna (1-00), J Fitzpatrick, J Murphy; M Magee, P Fitzpatrick (0-02); E Toner (1-00), C Maginn, J O'Reilly; P Devlin (0-03, 3f), P McComiskey (0-04, 2f), C Poland. Subs: N Higgins for Digney (46).
Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath).