Cork navigated their way past a sticky yet limited Louth side at a wet Páirc Uí Chaoimh to reach the final twelve teams in the All-Ireland championship.

Brian Hurley and Steven Sherlock especially will get the plaudits, but Colm O'Callaghan’s goal in additional time proved vital as they finally shook off Mickey Harte’s side in the finish.

Louth’s modus operandi on the day was to keep things tight as possible on the scoreboard and squeeze out an underdog victory.

That meant men behind the ball and some dogged defending and as soon as the ball was thrown-in Louth didn’t disguise their intentions.

Cork duo Sherlock and Hurley still found a way to open up an early three point lead.

Louth’s game plan remained in tact and received a timely boost when Liam Jackson countered to the net to wipe out Cork’s advantage with 17 minutes played.

Cork's Mattie Taylor under pressure from Craig Lennon

Cork responded through Sherlock landing three of the next four scores, Sam Mulroy opened his account in reply.

The Wee County needed the lead but Sherlock’s place kicking was exemplary.

Both sides of the large field, off the ground or out of his hand the St. Finbarrs man punished Louth and rewarded Cork for patient attacks.

The second half was still all to play for and weighed down with intrigue thanks to Louth’s Dan Corcoran coming from corner back to leave one point between the sides, 0-07 to 1-03 at the turn.

Mulroy and Sherlock traded a pair of free’s a piece but it was beginning to unravel for Louth slightly in terms of loose possession.

Mattie Taylor was excelling and was a constant outlet to get the hosts up the field and championship debutant Chris Kelly in the Cork goal broke Louth spirits with a wonderful double save to deny John Clutterbuck and replacement Ciarán Keenan from close range.

Leesiders captain, Hurley sensed the kill and duly applied the pressure with a classy point before finishing off a move to the net engineered by the brilliant Seán Powter.

That left five between the sides but Louth went all in and quickly scored three in a row, both Jackson brothers, Liam and Tom, either side of a Ciarán Downey effort.

Then the powerful O’Callaghan, Cork’s only other scorer in the shot shy contest, barrelled his way through for what would prove to be the clinching goal as Louth substitute Conor Grimes would goal instantly in reply.

There would be no ambush for Louth as Sherlock applied the finish with a free to bring the stodgy affair to a close.

Cork: Chris Kelly; Kevin O'Donovan, Maurice Shanley, Seán Powter; John Cooper, Rory Maguire, Mattie Taylor; Colm O'Callaghan (1-00), Ian Maguire; John O’Rourke, Eoghan McSweeney, Dan Dineen; Steven Sherlock (0-08, 0-06fs, 0-0145'), Brian Hurley (1-04, 0-01m), Cathail O’Mahony.

Subs: Brian Hayes for O'Mahony (ht), Damien Gore for O'Rourke (51), Tadhg Corkery for Powter (69), Cian Kiely for Dineen (70), Paul Walsh for McSweeney (74).

Louth: James Califf; Dan Corcoran (0-01), Bevan Duffy, Donal McKenny; Conall McKeever, Niall Sharkey, Liam Jackson (1-01); Conor Early, John Clutterbuck; Craig Lennon, Sam Mulroy (0-04, 0-04fs), Ryan Burns; Daire McConnon, Ciarán Downey (0-01), Daire Nally.

Subs: Ciarán Keenan for Burns (44), Tommy Durnin for Early (45), Leonard Grey for McKeever (62), Conor Grimes (1-00) for Nally (65), Tom Jackson 0-1 for Lennon (66).

Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford).