Tyrone came from seven points behind to secure their place in the All-Ireland semi-finals with a  2-15 to 2-12 Super 8s win over Cork.

Cork ruled Croke Park in a first half that saw them slice through the Ulster side's defence to hit the net twice, but the Red Hands were a different proposition after the break, driving forward with authjortity to dig themselves out of a hole and win with some style.

The Leesiders stunned the Red Hand with first half goals from Luke Connolly and substitute James Loughrey, and deservedly led by 2-4 to 0-5 at the break.

Tyrone fought back with goals from Cathal McShane and Peter Harte (pen), and three points each from Mattie Donnelly, McShane and Harte saw them through.

Cork grabbed a goal after just 15 seconds. Mattie Taylor’s long ball was picked up by Brian Hurley, and it was Ian Maguire who slipped a pass to Luke Connolly for a low finish past Niall Morgan.

Tyrone recovered their composure for Cathal McShane and Peter Harte to slot over scores, and as they channelled players back deep into their own half, the challenge was thrown down to a Cork side – could they find the key to unlock a famous defensive structure.

Tyrone's Cathal McShane celebrates his goal

The answer was an emphatic 'yes’, as they dominated possession and moved the ball patiently, waiting for pockets of space to open up, and they were in.

Taylor sent over a point, Mark Collins converted a free, and midway through the half, they struck for a second goal.

It was substitute James Loughrey, playing at corner back, who came charging through to pick up Ruairi Deane’s pass and smash the ball to the roof of Niall Morgan’s net.

Trailing by seven points, Tyrone had to come out, and they dis push more men forward, but Cork had their number in filtering players back and frustrating the Ulster men, with Thomas Clancy keeping in-form full forward Cathal McShane in check.

Conor Meyler and Harte did pull back scores, but at the break, it was the Munster side which led by five, 2-4 to 0-5, after Luke Connolly swept a free kick sweetly between the posts.

Mickey Harte made a treble substitution in a bid to breath fresh life into his side’s challenge, but Cork stretched their lead through Sean White.

Tyrone reverted to the long ball approach they had abandoned in mid-season, with Harte and skipper Mattie Donnelly joining target man McShane in the inside line, and they crafted a 43rd minute goal that brought them right back into it.

Mattie Donnelly on the ball for Tyrone

Donnelly combined smartly with Michael McKernan, who fisted to the far post for an unmarked McShane to palm to the net.

Three minutes later they were in front, a second goal smashed home from the penalty spot by Harte, after Niall Sludden had been hauled down by Taylor as he bore down on goal.

Cork were now facing a Tyrone team baring its teeth for the first time in the contest, but survived a spell of pressure to pull back scores from Luke Connolly and sub Michael Hurley (2) to go level in the 59th minute.

But with Morgan now getting more joy from his restarts and Frank Burns effective in breaking from deep, Tyrone pushed forward with purpose, and Donnelly used his strength to put his side back in front, with substitute Tiarnan McCann easing them two ahead.

Cork were forced to commit men forward, and while they had scores from Connolly, Hurley and John O’Rourke, the Red Hands had it in the bag, with McShane and Donnelly nailing the scores that saw them through.

Tyrone: N Morgan; HP McGeary, R McNamee, R Brennan; M McKernan, K McGeary, F Burns; C Cavanagh, B Kennedy; M Donnelly (0-03), N Sludden, P Harte (0-05, 3f); D McCurry, C McShane (1-05, 0-4f), C Meyler (0-01).

Subs: P Hampsey for Kennedy, (h-t), R Donnelly for McCurry (h-t), M Cassidy for HP McGeary (h-t), T McCann (0-01) for McKernan (51), C McAliskey for Sludden (55)

Cork: M White; S Cronon, T Clancy, K Flahive; L O’Donovan, T Clancy, M Taylor (0-01); I Maguire, K O’Hanlon; K O’Driscoll, S White (0-01), R Deane; M Collins (0-02, 2f), B Hurley, L Connolly (1-03, 0-2f).

Subs: J Loughrey (1-00) for Clancy (11), P Kerrigan for Hurley (48), M Hurley (0-04) for Collins (51), S Powter for White (58), J O’Rourke (0-01) for O’Driscoll (58), S Sherlock for Cronin (66)

Referee: M Deegan (Laois).