Ballyboden St Enda's 0-15
Clonmel Commercials 0-10
14-man Ballyboden St Enda's produced a Lazarus-like comeback in Portlaoise today to dash brave Clonmel Commercials' dreams of reaching Croke Park on St Patrick's Day.
Last November, the Charlie McGeever managed Commercials caused an upset when edging the Munster final against Nemo Rangers and, as the clock ticked down in normal time today, it looked as though they were going to repeat the trick against the Dublin and Leinster champions.
As events transpired, however, they were caught on the line before running out of steam in extra-time.
The signs were ominous for Andy McEntee's charges when they lost midfielder Declan O'Mahoney to a red card in the 52nd minute for a high tackle on Jason Lonergan but, to their credit, they refused to throw in the towel.
At that point, they trailed by three points but Andrew Kerin and Colm Basquel raised white flags to leave the bare minimum between the sides entering stoppage time.
Lonergan looked to have sealed a historic victory for Clonmel when pointing at the other end of the field but there was still time left for Kerin (free) and centre-back Darragh Nelson to keep Ballyboden's All-Ireland ambitions alive.
Extra-time got off to a bad start for Clonmel when they lost sharpshooter Michael Quinlivan to a black card and Ballyboden hit five unanswered points to compound the Tipperary outfit's woes.
Some of the shooting from both sides was erratic, to say the least, but Clonmel led by the narrowest of margins at the break - 0-5 to 0-4.
Kerin opened the scoring via free kick in the 7th minute but the team in green and gold finished the opening period strongly with Michael Quinlivan, Kevin Harney and Ian Barnes (free) edging them in front.
Normal time finished with the scoreboard reading 0-10 apiece and the team in blue and white stripes used their get out of jail card to good effect.
Black cards brought Clonmel captain Kevin Harney and 'Man-of-the-Match' Michael Darragh Macauley's participation to a premature end but that won't concern the former 'Footballer of the Year' as he and his clubmates turn their attention to Croke Park on March 17th.
Ballyboden St Enda's - P Durcan; B Dwan, S Hiney, S Clayton; R McDaid, D Nelson (0-1), A Waters; MD Macauley, D O'Mahoney; D Davey, C Basquel (0-1), D O'Reilly; C Keaney (0-4, 3f), S Molony (0-1), A Kerin (0-7, 5f). Subs: R Basquel (0-1) for D Davey, S O'Connor for D O'Reilly, S Gibbons for S Molony, S Durkin for S Clayton, S Molony for D O'Mahoney, D McCabe for S Gibbons, S Lambert for S Molony.
Clonmel Commericals - J McDonald; F Condon, J Peters, D Lynch; D Madigan, K Fahey, L Moore; S Kennedy, J Kennedy (0-2); A Matassa, J Lonergan (0-2), I Fahey; I Barnes (0-3, 2f), M Quinivan (0-2, 1f), K Harney (0-1). Subs: P White for D Madigan, P Looram for I Barnes, S Taylor for F Condon (BC), N Kelly for M Qunlivan (BC), S Flynn for P Looram, K Harney (BC).
Referee - B Cassidy.