A persistent Banner outfit bagged all their scores in the opening 30 minutes, outwitting the Rebels, who have been the dominant force in this grade for a number of years.
Wind assisted Clare set about ending their drought when Fiona Laverty struck for their opening goal after 16 minutes. This score came in reply to a Jenny O'Donovan green flag six minutes earlier and when Marie Raftery netted the visitors second goal, confidence within the camp began to grow. Danielle Sheedy completed the goal rush close on half time and the titleholders were suddenly in arrears by five points, 3-0 to 1-1 in a low-scoring game that was dictated by the strong wind.
However, urged on by Lucy Hawkes at centre-back the Cork girls rallied in the second half and when captain Áine Watson netted at the three-quarter stage, it looked as if the outcome would be settled in a replay. But, Clare managed by Fintan McNamara remained unyielding and, producing some high class defending, earned a historic tilt at Limerick (also surprise winners on Sunday over Tipperary) in the forthcoming Munster final.
: S Vaughan; I Kaiser, A McInerney, A Garry; C O'Leary, E Solan, J Moloney; L Hayes, M O'Brien; M Raftery, (1-0) E Hennessy, L Fahy; D Sheedy, (1-0) F Laverty, (1-0) A Treacy.
Subs: S O'Loughlin for A Garry.
: E White; G O'Regan, E O'Sullivan, S Sexton; O Neville, L Hawkes, O Cotter; A Watson, (1-0) M Crowley; C Long, D Cronin, S Lynch; D Twomey, M Browne, (0-1) J O'Donovan (1-1).
Subs: C Dillon for S Lynch, E Corkery for M Crowley, C Kearney for D Twomey.
: E Browne (Tipperary).