Tulk was tightening her grip on her fourth title till she played a poor shot from Leahy’s.
That slip unleashed a firestorm that was unrelenting to the last throw.
She looked to have recovered with a massive bowl to O’Riordan’s, but Mallon beat it comprehensively with an extraordinary bowl that ran towards Heaphy’s.
Mallon increased the intensity to the creamery, where she looked to have seen off the Dutch woman.
Tulk then played a great bowl, tight left past the creamery that swung with the road and made Geary’s.
Mallon held her nerve and beat it, but it was back in the melting pot.
It took two more to decide it, with Mallon’s last just getting enough off the soggy verge to roll past Tulk’s tip.
Hurley’s of Midleton King of the Roads, Thomas Mackle, has won every significant honour in 2016, apart from the European gold medal won by David Murphy in May.
He is also the only Ulster player to retain the title.
Against David Murphy in the semi-final Mackle was sharper and more forceful. The Netherlands’ Mark Muntel never got going.
Murphy won the first exchange, but it was all Mackle after that. He led with his second to Moore’s gate and increased his lead in his next two past the creamery.
He lost ground to Hegarty’s where there was just a metre between all three, but Murphy and Muntel followed with poor bowls.
Mackle raised a bowl on Muntel on the long straight. He opened the big corner in 11 where he had a bowl on Murphy and almost two on Muntel.
Murphy fell further behind when he missed sight at the sycamores.
Mackle made the last bend in 15, where he had three shots on Muntel and two on Murphy.
Germany’s Ralf Look demonstrated his ability to tackle Mackle, when he led all the way in a gripping semi-final against Killian Kingston and Cathal Toal.
He had almost a bowl on both after two to Moore’s gate. He was just short of the no-play line in five.
He raised a full bowl on Kingston with a great seventh to O’Riordan’s.
All three got brilliant bowls up the long straight. Look still had a bowl on Kingston and almost two on Toal.
Kingston levelled with a spectacular loft to the big corner.
He was unlucky to miss sight with his next and Look made full sight. Kingston continued to press, but Look gave him no opening.
He scored the line in 16 shots, two better than Sunday.
Adrian Callanan and Stephen Sewell were the only Munster title winners.
They led from the off and bowled consistently to win the East Cork Oil trophy by a bowl over Mark Kiernan and Ryan Fay.
They had almost a bowl at the sycamores, but Kiernan and Fay cut it to 60m at the big corner. Sewell raised a full bowl with a great shot onto the long straight.
Callanan followed with another huge one to O’Riordan’s to put them almost two clear.
They raised the second bowl at Heaphy’s, but Kiernan and Fay brought it back to a bowl in the last quarter.
Paul Buckley came closest to a second Munster win, when he lost the Jim O’Driscoll Cup final in the last shot to Colm Rafferty. Rafferty’s last bowl looked to be falling short of the line, after Buckley had beaten it, but it spun right and went to the green.
Buckley won the first two throws.
Rafferty took the next three to lead by almost a bowl at the green.
The lead fell and rose till Buckley got back in contention with a great bowl up the long straight.
His good work evaporated when he lofted onto the left bank and missed the big corner.
He surged back with a brilliant bowl up the short straight and led at the sycamores. In a close finish Rafferty was just 20m fore for the last throw.
Ulster’s Mark Toal and Pádraig Nugent beat Peter Nagle and Dean Sexton by a bowl in the Charlie McCarthy Cup.
Toal raised almost a bowl with a good throw onto the short straight and Nugent followed by opening the big corner.
Toal raised one bowl with his next to the long straight. Nugent raised a second bowl with a super shot to O’Riordan’s.
Nagle and Sexton finished strongly to cut the lead.
The German FKV team won the Proto-Mark Technologies Youth International Triple Crown. Here Fabian Schiffmann bowled with speed and confidence, while Chantel Bohlen got some remarkable bowls.
Things didn’t fall in place for the Irish pair of Darragh Kiely and Maria Nagle and the German’s put it out of reach with two brilliant bowls to O’Riordan.
On Friday another German player, Ann-Kristin Peters, indicated her credentials as a potential future Queen of the Roads in a great contest with Kelly Mallon.
At Derrinasafa Mick Murphy claimed the Denis Trunwit Cup by easily beating Donal O’Donovan in the Munster Vintage (over-60) A final.