Cork picked up their fifth straight win as John O’Rourke double strike edged them past Derry by 3-13 to 3-11 in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Derry scored two goals in the last four minutes with Emmett Bradley and Niall Loughlin on target, but Cork had a solid lead to protect at that stage and they held on to move even closer to a spot in the Division 3 final and an immediate return to the second tier.
Goals from Damien Gore midway through the first half and two more from John O’Rourke early in the second half paved the way for Cork to claim the win, and one more in the remaining two rounds will will seal their place in the decider.
Teams and Scorers
Cork: Anthony Casey; Tomás Clancy, Maurice Shanley, Paul Ring; Liam O’Donovan, Seán Powter, Mattie Taylor; Ian Maguire, Killian O’Hanlon; John O’Rourke (2-02, 0-01 mark), Seán White, Brian Hartnett; Paul Kerrigan, Luke Connolly (0-02, 0-01 free), Damien Gore (1-03, 0-01 mark).
Subs: Cathail O’Mahony (0-04, 0-02 frees) for Connolly (26, injured), Kevin O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers) for Liam O’Donovan (35, injured), Eoghan McSweeney (0-01) for Hartnett (45), Michael Hurley (0-01) for Kerrigan (62), James Loughrey for Powter (64).
Derry: Odhrán Lynch (0-01 45); Pádraig McGrogan, Brendan Rogers, Carlus McWilliams (0-01 mark); Shea Downey, Chrissy McKaigue, Niall Keenan; Ciarán McFaul, Pádraig Cassidy (0-01); Emmett Bradley (1-01), Niall Loughlin (1-01, 0-01 free), Danny Tallon; Benny Heron, Shane McGuigan (0-06 frees), Niall Toner.
Subs: Liam McGoldrick for Cassidy (43), Patrick Kearney (1-00) for Toner (43), Conor Doherty for Tallon (57), Declan Cassidy for Heron (62).
Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford).