LOUTH kicked the closing three points in a wind-assisted second-half to inflict a third defeat on 14-man Cork in NFL Division 2 at DEFY Pairc Mhuire, Ardee, on Sunday.
The visitors lost full-back Daniel O’Mahony to a red card for a high challenge on Conor Grimes a minute from the scheduled break and also conceded a controversial penalty while missing a glut of goal-scoring chances, too.
At one stage in the first half Cork had established a firm grip, leading by 0-7 to 0-2 after 25 minutes, the sides tied twice early on before the visitors struck five points without response.
Steven Sherlock accounted for three, a free, a 45 and a fine effort from play after Cork spent an age on the ball before finally creating enough space and time for Sherlock to ping a score from around the 45m line.
Wing-back Luke Fahy and Chris Óg Jones also found the range in a period when Cork could also have grabbed a couple of goals.
The first chance came after 18 minutes when Sean Powter turned over possession with a great steal before offloading to Colm O’Callaghan, who spotted Sherlock in space but the ball died as the Cork attacker waited for any kind of favourable bounce and Louth escaped.
Jones, who was denied by a diving save from keeper James Califf opted for a point when a goal was on and the Iveleary forward also palmed an effort at Califf instead of catching Sherlock’s right-wing cross during a dramatic change of fortune as the half came to a close.
It turned on a decision by Longford referee Fergal Kelly to deem Powter’s challenge on Ryan Burns worthy of a penalty in the 28th minute.
The Louth player saw his kick well saved by Micheal Aodh Martin diving to his right only for Burns to react quickest to the rebound and fist in a crucial goal from the home side’s perspective.
To add insult to injury keeper Califf caught the restart to begin a move that ended with a Liam Jackson point, 0-7 to 1-3, and then Cork lost O’Mahony to a red card.
Tommy Dunne restored parity a third time before Cork reclaimed the lead with a Tommy Walsh point in the fourth minute of added-on time but with it all to do on the resumption.
Cork, though, could only score twice in the second-half, an early Sherlock free and Fahy’s second in the 50th minute though Ruairí Deane twice went close with goal opportunities.
R Burns 1-0, L Jackson 0-2, C Downey 0-2 (0-1 f), C Grimes, T Dunne, C Earley, C Lennon, D McConnon 0-1 each.
S Sherlock 0-4 (0-2 f, 0-1 45), L Fahy 0-2, T Walsh, L Fahy, C Corbett, C Óg Jones, R Maguire 0-1 each.
J Califf; D Corcoran, P Lynch, D McKenny; L Grey, C Murphy, C McKeever; T Durnin, C Early; N Sharkey, L Jackson, C Grimes; D McConnon, C Downey, R Burns.
B Duffy for Grimes injured 35, C Lennon for Burns 45, P Mathews for Jackson 53, C McCaul for McKenny 56, J Hughes for McConnon 66.
MA Martin (Nemo Rangers); M Shanley (Clonakilty), D O’Mahony (Knocknagree), T Walsh (Kanturk); L Fahy (Ballincollig), R Maguire (Castlehaven), S Meehan (Kiskeam, c); C O’Callaghan (Éire Óg), I Maguire (St Finbarr’s); E McSweeney (Knocknagree), S Powter (Douglas), R Deane (Bantry Blues); S Sherlock (St Finbarr’s), C Og Jones (Iveleary), C Corbett (Clyda Rovers).
B O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaighs) for McSweeney 53, K O’Hanlon (Kilshannig) for Jones and J O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers) for Corbett 61, M Cronin (Nemo Rangers) for Sherlock 70+2.
F Kelly (Longford).