Having led through Melvin Beamish, the West Cork men twice came back from a goal down to draw 3-3, with an outrageous Calum Crowley rocket from the endline and a Clinton Sweetnam drag-flick on the final whistle getting them level.
But Kilkenny prevailed 3-1 in the shootout ending their own heartbreak tale of two lost finals.
Midleton also suffered on the national stage as Bray beat them 4-1 in the Irish Challenge final, as Eric Callender’s equaliser provided only temporary respite.
Both the Irish Senior Cup finals were decided on sudden death penalties. Cork native Jonny Bruton rescued a 2-2 draw for Monkstown against Lisnagarvey before Gareth Watkins’ nerveless stroke settled the shootout in favour of the Dubliners.
Garvey had led through Daniel Buser before Town nabbed a contentious Davy Carson equaliser at the break. Mikey Watt had the Ulster men back in front but Bruton struck in the final 90 seconds to force a shootout.
Rebecca Davidson’s diving save saw Ulster Elks pip Ards in the seventh round of penalties after a 1-1 draw in the women’s final. Megan Frazer (Elks) and Chloe Brown (Ards) with the match goals.
Domestically, Ashton made history by claiming their first senior men’s title, defeating Limerick on strokes in the Charity Cup final after a 2-2 draw in Villiers.
Ashton led twice via Mark Falvey and David Herbert but those goals were cancelled out by Cathal Duggan’s penalty stroke and a Tom Clarke finish to a fine team goal.
Kieran Healy’s pair of saves in the shootout secured a 4-2 success that rounded off a memorable weekend for the Cork side as they were also confirmed as the winners of Division 1B.
Catholic Institute bounced back in style from their Munster Senior Cup loss to Harlequins on Thursday by securing the women’s Division 1 title. Aoibhin Maher’s goal was enough to see them win the Treaty City derby against Limerick 1-0.
Cork Church of Ireland confirmed their return to Division 1 as they used their pace to good effect on the counter-attack in a 4-0 win over Division 1 Challenge basement side Fermoy, Amy Roberts, Claire Hickey, Christina Dring and Niamh Barber finding the target.
Clonmel claimed the Division 1B Plate, defeating Bruff in yet another shootout after their final at Villiers finished level at 1-1.