Referee Fergal Horgan added an extra 11 minutes and that gave 2009 champions Thurles the time they needed to snatch a draw in front of a bumper crowd.
After the regulation hour, Nenagh were on course to avenge their 2010 semi-final defeat by Thurles as they led 0-16 to 1-11 but the seven-time winners struck late with a 1-2 haul to level proceedings.
In the fourth minute of injury time, Kevin Slattery pounced for a close range goal, after Pat Ralph’s viciously-struck 20m free was saved, and, incredibly, late points from Conor Lanigan (free) and Kennedy ensured a replay next week.
Nenagh will argue far too much added time was played but it was a stop-start affair in the second-half and a serious injury to Nenagh full-back Niall Gleeson held the game up for four minutes. Thurles also racked up 16 wides, including 10 in the second-half, and suffered from free-taking troubles throughout the game.
Clonoulty-Rossmore’s Sean Maher helped himself to three points from play for Thurles but the centre-forward was also guilty of five wides in thesecond-half.
Nenagh mentors will hope their players are not scarred psychologically after letting the lead slip in the dying minutes, but they certainly won’t lie down in the replay and have a potential match winner in Jason Forde. On home soil, the Silvermines star scored 0-9, including five frees and a sideline cut.
Forde was to the fore in the opening half as Nenagh, who conceded the opening two scores, hit a purple patch of eight points without reply toestablish a commanding 0-8 to 0-2 lead.
Conor Lanigan’s 23rd minute point ended a 17-minute barren spell for Thurles and, by half-time, they were in touch, trailing by 0-7 to 0-9.
Midway through the second period, the sides were level at 0-11 apiece before Nenagh stepped on the gas again and cruised into a 0-16 to 0-11 lead with a run of five unanswered scores. With Thurles profligate in front of goal, Nenagh looked on course for a sweet victory but there was still time left, plenty for it, for Thurles to mount a remarkable comeback.
Scorers for Thurles CBS: K Slattery 1-1, Sean Maher (Clonoulty-Rossmore) 0-3, P Ralph 0-3 (2f), C Lanigan 0-3 (2f), C Hammersley 0-2, S Kennedy 0-1.
Scorers for Nenagh CBS: J Forde 0-9 (5f, 1 sl), P Fogarty 0-2, J Loughnane, T Gallagher, S O’Brien, P Shanahan & J Mackey, 0-1 each.
THURLES CBS: J Maher; J Bourke, J Ryan, B Troy; R Maher, S Kennedy, C Quirke; S Nally, S Cahill; C Hammersley, Sean Maher (Clonoulty-Rossmore), K Slattery; E Moriarty, P Ralph, C Lanigan.
Subs: J Meagher for Moriarty (40), Sean Maher (Sean Treacys) for Cahill (54), P Hayes for R Maher (60+6).
NENAGH CBS: W Power; D Quinn, N Gleeson, S Cleary; E Hynes, J Peters, J Flaherty; J Loughnane, T Gallagher; P Shanahan, C Delaney, S O’Brien; J Forde, P Fogarty, J Mackey.
Subs: C Leo for Gleeson (inj, 37), K Gleeson for Mackey (60+2).
Referee: F Horgan (Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams).