Bryan Sheehan's free, seconds from the end of added time, saved Kerry's blushes at Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday afternoon after Colm O'Neill's superb 45' looked to have handed Conor Counihan's Cork a famous victory in the Munster SFC semi-final.

Munster SFC Quarter-final:

Kerry 0-13 Cork 1-10

Sheehan's task was aided by the Cork defenders who swarmed around the ball leaving referee, Maurice Deegan, with no choice but to move what proved to be almost the last kick of the day closer to the Town goal.

The second-half substitute duly obliged to bring what was an entertaining encounter to a conclusion on a day when Jack O'Connor's side looked out of sorts for large parts of the game.

Cork went in three points up at the break with Pearse O'Neill's brilliant goal the difference between the sides.

The 2008 All-Ireland finalists and current league holders could have been on level terms but for the fact Colm 'Gooch' Cooper missed a penalty on 31 minutes.

In truth, 'Gooch' never looked like troubling Alan Quirke in the Rebels goal as his sluggish run up and shot accurately mirrored the Kingdom's play throughout the opening 35 minutes.

Kerry lost Tommy Walsh after just 11 minutes but he was ably replaced by Kerry legend, Darragh O'Sé.

The Gaeltacht midfielder made his presence felt not long after when he slotted over a lovely point after 28 minutes. That inspirational score was the only high point for the home side as they looked to be struggling all over the field.

Cork relied on the freetaking ability of Donncha O'Connor and Daniel Goulding in the opening half as well as the dash of O'Neill to keep their noses in front after 35 minutes of domination.

The second-half was six minutes old when Goulding slotted over the best point of the day to push the reigning Munster champions four points ahead.

In the next 20 minutes the sides exchanged some excellent scores as it looked increasingly like Kerry would need a goal to salvage a draw.

Noel O'Leary, with his hunched style, gave Cork a boost after 46 minutes with a fine point before normal service was resumed at the other end of the field; 'Gooch' swinging over a super score from out the field.

On 56 minutes, O'Neill, who was to end up with 1-2 to his name made a barnstorming run up the field before pointing.

That score was quickly bettered by Tadhg Kennelly's spectacular effort on 59 minutes to bring the gap back to three points.

However, the score of the day was yet to come. When it did arrive it was Cooper who supplied it. Under pressure from a number of tenacious Cork defenders, 'Gooch', like only he could do, managed to swing a leg at the ball. It glided over the black spot and the sides were now level going into added time.

Up stepped substitute O'Neill who was nerveless in his execution of the 45' but Sheehan, who scored a number of vital frees for the Kingdom after being sprung from the bench, was to have the last laugh.

Kerry: D Murphy; M Ó Sé, T O’Sullivan, P Reidy; T Ó Sé, T Griffin, A O’Mahony; T Kennelly, M Quirke; P Galvin, Declan O’Sullivan, D Walsh; C Cooper, T Walsh, Darran O’Sullivan.

Cork: A Quirke; R Carey, M Shields, A Lynch; J Miskella, G Canty, G Spillane; A O’Connor, N Murphy; P Kelly, P O’Neill, P Kerrigan; D Goulding, J Masters, D O’Connor.