But a mighty surge from Carnacon derailed that dream and sent the champions back to another final.
Inch led 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval after Mary O’Connor kicked six points and Amy O’Shea added a single in reply to one from Aoife Brennan and five from the outstanding Cora Staunton.
The Cork ladies, with Orla Cotter impressive at midfield, pushed on and led 0-9 to 0-7 with 15 minutes left but never struck the killer blow while Carnacon’s goalkeeper, Michelle Higgins saved efforts from Noelle O’Donovan and Jessica O’Shea.
Carnacon, inspired by winger Michelle McGing, powered their way back into contention and fine points from Staunton, Brennan and Martha Carter put the Mayo side clear.
Scorers for Carnacon: C Staunton 0-11 (7fs), A Brennan 0-2, M Carter 0-1.
Scorers for Inch Rovers: M O’Connor 0-8 (4fs), A O’Shea, A Walsh 0-1 each.
CARNACON: M Higgins; N Hurst, N Tierney, S McGing; M Corbett, A Loftus, C McGing; C Egan, M Carter; M McGing, F McHale, D Hughes; N Beegan, C Staunton, A Brennan.
INCH ROVERS: G Kearney; M Kearney, AM Walsh, A Walsh; L Williams, A Walsh, D O’Shea; A Walsh, O Cotter; N O’Donovan, S Harrington, J O’Shea; A McCarthy, M O’Connor, A O’Shea.
Subs: J O’Keefe for O’Donovan (50), F Neville for McCarthy (58).
Referee: John Niland (Sligo).