A Liam Gosnell goal early in the second-half, followed as it was by three points from the same player and white flags from Liam O’Shea and Charlie Terry, had Midleton 1-10 to 0-7 in front after 42 minutes.
The tide turned dramatically, however, when Terry was dismissed on a second yellow card entering the final quarter. The absence of Midleton’s primary ball winner allowed the reigning champions take over and they outscored their opponents by 0-8 to 0-1 in the remaining quarter of an hour to hold a 0-15 to 1-11 lead as the clock ticked into the red.
A foul on Michael Kelly handed Midleton a penalty and O’Shea showed remarkable composure to find the net.
The victory sets up an all Cork semi-final on Saturday week where Midleton and St Colman’s, Fermoy will meet for the third occasion this season.
A fractious first-half finished with Ardscoil Rís holding the slenderest of leads, 0-6 to 0-5. Midleton, through Liam O’Shea and Liam Gosnell’s accuracy from the dead ball and Charlie Terry’s prowess under the dropping ball, twice led by two points in the opening 12 minutes.
David Woulfe and Jack McInerney kept the Limerick school in touch, with three Brian Ryan frees edging them in front at the change of ends.
Ryan was one of five players yellow carded in the first-half, his late pull on the already booked Charlie Terry instigating a shemozzle which saw referee Willie Barrett reprimand three players.
L Gosnell (1-5, 0-4 frees); L O’Shea (1-4, 1-0 pen, 0-2 frees); C Terry (0-2).
B Ryan (0-7, 0-5 frees, 0-1 free); D Woulfe (0-2); W Henn, J Daly, P O’Brien, R Considine, J McInerney (0-1 each)
B Curtin (Adare); M Daly (Na Piarsaigh), R Connolly (Adare), J Considine (Patrickswell); J Boylan (Na Piarsaigh), D Carroll (Newport), D Ryan (Cratloe); R Duff (Mungret St Paul’s), J Gleeson (Na Piarsaigh); P O’Brien (Mungret St Paul’s), B Ryan (South Liberties), W Henn (Na Piarsaigh); D Woulfe (Kilmallock), R McCarthy (Na Piarsaigh), J McInerney (Cratloe).
R Walsh (St Colman’s); E O’Sullivan (St Colman’s), S O’Leary Hayes (Midleton), A Daly (Midleton); R McConville (Midleton), J McDonnell (Aghada), A Walsh Barry (Carrigtwohill); S O’Meara (Midleton), C Coughlan (Killeagh); L O’Shea (Lisgoold), G Millerick (Fr O’Neill’s), L Gosnell (Carrigtwohill); B Twomey (Carrigtwohill), C Terry (Aghada), J Stack (Kiltha Óg).
Referee: W Barrett.