If there was ever a game of fluctuating fortunes, this was it, with both sides enjoying periods of dominance before a magnificent second-half comeback by the Tipperary students gave them the victory in a frenetic final couple of minutes.
With 15 minutes remaining and with Thurles CBS a player down after midfielder Ryan Walsh was sent off for a second yellow card offence, Midleton CBS held a seven-point advantage, but Thurles CBS reinvented themselves to secure a magnificent triumph.
Jack Lanigan, Stephen Ferncombe, and Devon Ryan were their scorers-in-chief over the hour and it was very much a case of digging deep for the win when they were reduced to 14 players with 17 minutes remaining.
Lanigan and Ferncombe gave Thurles a great start with a goal and a point, but by half-time Midleton, following fine points from play and from placed balls by Sean Walsh, Olan Broderick, and Ryan McCarthy, were in front by 0-10 to 1-5.
When they resumed, two goals inside the opening 12 minutes from their full- forward Kyle Quin-Waites had them looking like winners.
However, Thurles responded in style, with two quick goals from Ferncombe and Lanigan putting them back in the mix.
Midleton CBS had now lost the initiative and were unable to make more use of the extra man.
With 12 minutes remaining the sides were deadlocked at 2-13 for Midleton and 3-10 for Thurles as the game turned helter-skelter.
When push came to shove, it was Thurles who secured the points — through Ferncombe, Darren Flood and Devon Ryan — to move back to the ascendency.
With time running out, they led by a goal and, despite Midleton’s best efforts to bring the contest to extra-time, they could not break down the Thurles defence and the Dean Ryan trophy was heading back to the Premier County.
S Ferncombe 1-6 (0-4f, 0-1, 65), J Lanigan 2-2, D Ryan 0-4, D Flood 0-2, E Connolly 0-1.
K Quinn-Waites 2-0, R McCarthy 0-6 (0-5f, 0-165), S Walsh 0-5f, O Broderick 0-2, R Landers, J Mulcahy 0-1.
J Dwyer (Clonoulty-Rossmore), M P O’Dwyer (Boherlahan-Dualla), C Stapleton (Durlas Og), AJ Shanahan (Upperchurch-Drombane), E Connolly (Loughmore-Castleliney), K Hayes (Moycarkey-Borris), K Costello Durlas Og), R Walsh (Fethard), D Ryan (Knockvilla-Kickhams), E Purcell (Durlas Og), J Lanigan (Durlas Og), C Munroes Thurles Gaels), S Ferncombe (Clonoulty -Rossmore), D Flood (Moycarkey-Borris), P Creedon (Durlas Og).
J Leamy (Golden -Kilfeacle), for Purcell, J Lillis (Drom -Inch) for Creedon.
A Quirke (Midleton), E Motherway (St Colman’s), J Fitzgerald(Midleton), L Hennessy (Midleton), R McCarthy (Killeagh), R Landers (Killeagh), N Cahill (St Colman’s), S Quirke (Midleton), O Broderick (Killeaghj), C Joyce (Kiltha Og), C Hickey (Lisgoold), J Mulcahy (Carrigtwohill), E Martin (Kiltha Og), K Quinn-Waites (Kiltha Og), S Walsh (Carrigtwohill).
J Shine (O’Neill’s), for Martin.
Referee T Walsh (Waterford).