It should have been a joyous afternoon for Cork, who ended a run of three successive league defeats to snatch a thriller by a point, but it actually felt like a defeat.
Going so close to the required four-point victory was agonising for all involved with Laois unable to do Cork any favours in their heavy defeat by Kildare, who now face Meath in one promotion semi-final with Clare taking on Mayo.
There were many positives to take from the game, notably in scoring 22 points and the availability once again of young Cathail O'Mahony shows the quality of finisher at Cork's disposal.
This was a cracker of a contest from start to finish featuring some brilliant individual displays from the likes of the experienced David Tubridy for the home side and super defending from Kevin Flahive for Cork, especially in the first-half.
That the sides were level 10 times during a rip-roaring game, which produced 41 scores with the issue and promotion and relegation matters still undecided until the final blast of referee Derek O'Mahony's whistle four minutes into second-half injury-time.
Back-to-back wins on the road is nothing to be sniffed and with a home relegation tie with Westmeath on the horizon, Cork would appear to be heading into the championship with a degree of confidence.
They play the winners of the Waterford-Limerick tie with the Shannonsiders, who are through to the promotion play-off in Division 3, expected to reach the Munster semi-final where they would have home advantage.
Having next weekend off will help the list of injuries, which now includes Daniel O'Mahony and Ciaran Sheehan following yesterday's exploits.
Competition for starting places in attack is intensifying all the time with Cathail O'Mahony pressing hard for a starting jersey.