Louth made tough work of seeing off a stubborn Antrim side in Drogheda before pulling away late on to ensure their place in the next round of the Football Qualifiers on a 1-17 to 1-11 scoreline.
Aidan O'Rourke's side looked to be cruising midway through both halves when they held six and seven point advantages respectively.
However, on each occasion the Ulstermen battled their way back into contention to leave the game in the balance until the closing stages when the Wee County pulled away.
Louth got off to a dream start with Ciaran Byrne squeezing a shot under Chris Kerr on 15 minutes to give them a 1-4 to 0-1 advantage.
Antrim refused to throw in the towel though and three successive scores from Paddy Cunningham briefly had the deficit back to three, with goalkeeper Neil Gallagher keeping the home side ahead with a fine save from Sean Kelly on 19 minutes.
A stoppage time free from Shane Lennon gave Louth a 1-7 to 0-6 lead at the break and they quickly built on that advantage on the restart with five of the next six points to hold a seven point advantage on 48 minutes.
A Michael Pollock goal, followed up by another couple of points from Cunningham reduced the deficit again, however, before the Wee County pulled away late on with a flurry of late scores.
The one downside for Louth was that goalkeeper Gallagher was shown a straight red card a minute from the end for verbally abusing an umpire.
Louth: N Gallagher; P Rath, D Finnegan, J Bingham; C McGuinness, D Crilly, A Reid; P Keenan (0-1), B Donnelly; C Rafferty (0-2), B White (0-2, 1f), C Judge (0-1); D Maguire (0-1), S Lennon (0-5, 1f), C Byrne (1-2)
Subs: R Finnegan (0-1) for C McGuinness, 16 mins; R Carroll (0-2) for B Donnelly, 30 mins; D Clarke for C Byrne, 50 mins; P Smith for C Rafferty. 67 mins; J Flanagan for N Gallagher 69 mins.
Antrim: C Kerr; K O'Boyle (0-1), P Doherty, R Johnson; A Healey, S Kelly, J Carron; S McVeigh, J Crozier; C Murray (0-1), M Sweeney, M Herron (0-1); M Pollock (1-1), B Herron (0-1), P Cunningham (0-6, 4f).
Subs: P McBride for A Healey, 53 mins; R Murray for S McVeigh, 58 mins; D McAleese for M Herron, 62 mins; N Delargy for B Herron, 66 mins.
Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down).
Highlights and analysis of all the weekend’s action on The Sunday Game from 21:00 on Sunday 30 June on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Ireland only). Expert and fan reaction on Take Your Point from 18:00 on Sunday 30 June on RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).