They controlled much of the game, leading 0-4 to 0-1 at the break with both sets of players struggling in the heavy going.
But Gabriels changed tactics on the resumption. Once the superb Chris Moynihan surged through the Clonoulty-Rossmore defence to plant a point inside 15 seconds, Gabriels’s more direct approach paid dividends.
And with a 0-8 to 0-2 lead after 41 minutes, it seemed the west Cork side would coast to their big day in Mallow on Sunday week.
But, the Tipperary champions stunned them with a quick-fire 1-1. First John O’Keeffe lobbed keeper Darren O’Mahony, and when James Moloney pointed from distance, Gabriels’ advantage had been cut to two points.
Their response, though, was emphatic. They outscored their opponents 1-5 to 0-1 in the remainder of the game with captain Mark Cronin finishing off a flowing move involving the Moynihan brothers, Chris and Richard, and Eddie Goggin, to bag the crucial goal after 51 minutes.
And how the enthusiastic Gabriels’ fans in the 544 crowd cheered closing points from Chris Moynihan, Stephen O’Mahony and a Sean Kelleher free to seal the deal.
M Cronin 1-2, 1f, C Moynihan 0-4, G O’Callaghan 0-2, S Kelleher 0-2f, E O’Brien, E Goggin and S O’Mahony 0-1
J O’Keeffe 1-0, J Moloney, R Heffernan, D Quirke 0-1 each, P White 0-1f .
D O’Mahony; K O’Callaghan, C Newman, J Donegan; P Nolan, R Moynihan, L Hegarty; D O’Sullivan, S O’Mahony; F Hurley, C Moynihan, E O’Brien; M Cronin, E Goggin, S Kelleher.
G O’Callaghan for Nolan injured 10, S Evans for O’Brien 37, P Hegarty for Newman 58, D Roycroft for O’Callaghan 59.
J Devane; D Ryan, S O’Connor, D Kennedy; D Murphy, P White, captain, Joey O’Keeffe; A Ryan, J Moloney; R Heffernan, John O’Keeffe, P Ryan; M Ryan, D Quirke, G Mockler.
P Hayes for P Ryan, black card, 16, D Dwyer for M Ryan 40, D Egan for Mockler 53, S Coffey for Kennedy and W Ryan for Quirke 59.
S Mulvihill (Kerry)