Cork 2-15 1-12 Armagh

John Miskella and Paul Duffy
Armagh's Paul Duffy tries to burst away from Cork's John Miskella

Armagh held on to their NFL Division 1 status despite their defeat by Cork with the Rebels making the final.

Four Steven McDonnell points helped Armagh lead 0-6 to 0-4 but Cork hit the last three scores of the half to lead.

Donnacha O'Connor's penalty extended Cork's lead but McDonnell set up Aaron Kernan for an immediate goal reply.

Cork's Eoin Cadogan was sent off but O'Connor's second goal helped Cork pull clear as Armagh's Kieran Toner was also dismissed in the closing seconds.

Armagh started without Ciaran McKeever who was ruled out by a knee injury while changes from the disappointing defeat by Galway saw starts for Crossmaglen pair Paul Hearty and Aaron Kernan plus James Lavery, Billy Joe Padden and Micheal O'Rourke.

Three McDonnell points and a Jamie Clarke score helped Armagh lead 0-4 to 0-2 lead but Daniel Goulding's six first-half scores edged Cork into a 0-7 to 0-6 advantage at the interval.

John Miskella's run upfield set up the move which resulted in Cork's penalty straight after the restart with Hearty fouling O'Connor and the Cork man getting back off the turf to send the Armagh keeper the wrong way from the spot-kick.

However, Armagh responded in kind with McDonnell's run and unselfish pass setting up Kernan for a tap-in finish.

Another O'Connor point helped Cork move 1-10 to 1-8 ahead but Cadogan was then harshly dismissed and Armagh hit four of the next six scores to draw level.

At that stage, Armagh looked to have a glorious chance of upsetting the All-Ireland champions but O'Connor's point edged the Rebels ahead again and his second goal - after another Miskella foray upfield - extended Cork's lead to five.

O'Connor contributed 2-3 in the second half while Armagh's day was rounded off by Toner's late dismissal for a second yellow card.

Despite Armagh's defeat, Galway's draw at home to Dublin meant that Paddy O'Rourke's side stay in Division 1.

League holders Cork, meanwhile, will play Dublin in the Division 1 final in two weeks.

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