Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO Cork's Ian Maguire bursts forward.
# Rebels
Eight-point haul from Brian Hurley helps Cork to crucial win over Louth
Armagh edge out Westmeath in Group 2 opener.

LAST UPDATE | May 27th 2023, 7:12 PM

Cork 1-19

Louth 1-17


Paul Keane reports from Pairc Tailteann, Navan 

BRIAN HURLEY MADE a successful return to duty with Cork, firing eight points to help secure a highly significant All-Ireland SFC, Group 1 win for the Rebels.

Seven weeks after being dumped out of the Munster championship by Clare, John Cleary’s side held off a resurgent Louth to join Mayo at the head of the group.

With Kerry and Mayo expected to dominate the group, it could yet be the win that secures Cork third position in the table and a golden ticket to the knockout stage.

Cork made heavy work of it though as their six-point lead in the 45th minute was wiped out with Louth taking a one-point lead in the 58th minute.

Louth came from behind to defeat Cork in this season’s National League but there was to be no repeat as the visitors outscored Louth by 0-6 to 0-3 from there on.

Team captain Hurley, just back from a shoulder problem, was Cork’s key forward though substitutes Steven Sherlock, Conor Corbett and John O’Rourke all contributed important points during the closing minutes.

Cork will return to action next weekend against Kerry at Pairc Ui Chaoimh while Louth will travel to take on Mayo in Castlebar.

Both sides were chasing redemption after punishing provincial defeats. Cork lost out to Clare by a point back on 9 April in Munster while Louth conceded 5-21 to Dublin in the Leinster final.

conor-early-tackles-chris-og-jones Lorraine O’Sullivan / INPHO Louth's Conor Early tackles Chris Óg Jones. Lorraine O’Sullivan / INPHO / INPHO

The two teams were much changed too with Louth making five alterations to the side that lined out against Dublin 13 days ago.

Defenders Dermot Campbell and Anthony Williams came into the team along with attacking trio Bevan Duffy, Paul Mathews and Craig Lennon.

Lennon opened the scoring for Louth and two more points from leading scorer Sam Mulroy and Conor Early nudged them 0-3 to 0-1 ahead.

But the two-point advantage gave a false impression of the opening quarter hour or so with Cork largely on top but unable to make it count in scoring terms.

It wasn’t until Killian O’Hanlon curled over a left-footed score in the 15th minute that Cork finally started to hit the target with regularity.

Hurley chipped over a free shortly after before the Rebels put together a sumptuous move for Brian O’Driscoll’s 18th minute goal.

Hurley forced a turnover on the right wing, beginning a sweeping move that ended with the influential Ruairi Deane playing in O’Driscoll to slam home from close range.

Hurley added two more points himself and finished the half with 0-4. It was a strong showing from a player who missed Cork’s previous three games with a shoulder injury.

The Castlehaven man returned to the lineup along with defenders Maurice Shanley and Sean Meehan and wing-forward Killian O’Hanlon.

But there was disappointment for Meehan who trudged off with a leg injury after 21 minutes.

Meehan had man-marked Louth dangerman full-forward Mulroy, despite wearing number six, and that job then went to Kevin O’Donovan who came on to replace him.

Louth picked off points from Mulroy and Peter Lynch to keep themselves just about in it but Cork weren’t flattered by their 1-8 to 0-7 half-time lead.

The challenge for Louth was to turn in a second-half performance like the one which saw them come from eight points down at the break to beat Westmeath in their Leinster quarter-final encounter at the same venue.

They almost pulled it off too with substitute Liam Jackson hitting a 46th minute goal that gave them real hope.

Jackson intervened when Cork tried a short kick-out to Daniel O’Mahony and Louth colleagues Ciaran Downey, Tommy Durning, Dylan McKeown and Leonard Grey added furth points to dramatically level the game up.

Louth couldn’t push on for a landmark win though as Cork held on.

Armagh, meanwhile, edged out Westmeath 1-13 to 1-12 at the Athletic Grounds in their Group 2 opener. 

rian-oneill-with-kevin-maguire Evan Treacy / INPHO Evan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

A goal from Conor Turbitt in the 68th minute nudged Armagh ahead in a game where the Ulster finalists failed to impress for large periods. 

Ronan O’Toole’s early goal helped Westmeath to a 1-7 to 0-7 half-time lead.

The visitors controlled possession well during the second half and remained in front until Turbitt’s goal. 

John Heslin got Westmeath level again a minute later but injury-time points from Andrew Murnin and Ciaran Mackin got Armagh over the line. 

Kieran McGeeney’s side face Tyrone in Omagh next weekend while Westmeath host Galway in Mullingar.


Cork scorers: Brian Hurley 0-8 (0-6f), Brian O’Driscoll 1-1, Colm O’Callaghan 0-2, Ian Maguire 0-2, Killian O’Hanlon 0-1, Chris Og Jones 0-1, Steven Sherlock 0-1, Sean Powter 0-1, John O’Rourke 0-1, Conor Corbett 0-1.

Louth scorers: Sam Mulroy 0-8 (0-4f), Liam Jackson 1-0, Ciaran Downey 0-2, Craig Lennon 0-1, Conor Early 0-1, Peter Lynch 0-1, Tommy Durnin 0-1, Dylan McKeown 0-1, Leonard Grey 0-1, Conor Grimes 0-1.


1. Micheal Aodh Martin (Nemo Rangers)

2. Maurice Shanley (Clonakilty) 6. Sean Meehan (Kiskeam) 4. Tommy Walsh (Kanturk)

5. Luke Fahy (Ballincollig) 3. Daniel O’Mahony (Knocknagree) 7. Mattie Taylor (Mallow)

8. Colm O’Callaghan (Eire Og) 9. Ian Maguire (St Finbarrs)

12. Killian O’Hanlon (Kilshannig) 11. Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues) 10. Brian O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)

13. Sean Powter (Douglas) 14. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven – Captain) 15. Chris Og Jones (Uibh Laoire)


  • 17. Kevin O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers) for Meehan 21
  • 25. Steven Sherlock (St Finbarrs) for Powter 48-f/t blood
  • 19. Cian Kiely (Ballincollig) for Walsh 49
  • 21. Eoghan McSweeney (Knocknagree) for O’Hanlon 55
  • 26. Conor Corbett (Clyda Rovers) for Jones 64
  • 23. John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers) for Hurley 73


1. James Califf (Dreadnots)

2. Dermot Campbell (Dreadnots) 3. Peter Lynch (Roche Emmets) 4. Donal McKenny (Ardee St Marys)

7. Anthony Williams (Dreadnots) 6. Niall Sharkey (Glyde Rangers) 5. Leonard Grey (St Patricks)

8. Tommy Durnin (Iniskeen Grattans) 9. Conor Early (Na Fianna)

10. Conall McKeever (Clan na Gael) 11. Ciaran Downey (Newtown Blues) 19. Bevan Duffy (St Fechins)

13. Paul Mathews (St Fechins) 14. Sam Mulroy (Naomh Mairtin – Captain) 15. Craig Lennon (St Mochtas)


  • 23. Daire McConnon (Ardee St Marys) for Mathews h/t
  • 25. Dylan McKeown (Dundalk Gaels) for Duffy h/t
  • 20. Liam Jackson (Ardee St Marys) for Campbell 39
  • 12. Conor Grimes (Glen Emmets) for Lennon 43
  • 22. Conall McCaul (St Josephs) for McConnon 65


Ref: Martin McNally (Monaghan).

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