CORK had to withstand a fierce Limerick challenge to win their 30th Munster minor football title and the first since 2010 in Thurles on Wednesday evening.
It gave the Leesiders a clean sweep of underage trophies in both codes, bridging a gap of 16 years and for just the time overall.
Next up is an All-Ireland final against Ulster champions Tyrone or Donegal on what will be a hectic weekend for Rebel GAA, with the minor hurlers in an All-Ireland final too, along with the senior showdown against Limerick.
The Rebels kicked the last eight scores to turn a one-point deficit into a flattering winning margin in the end. Joint-captain Hugh O’Connor was central to the victory, scoring 1-7, including two crucial points on the run-in.
Cork finished with 14 after a late second yellow card for Patrick O’Grady, but that didn’t detract from a brilliant closing 10 minutes.
Cork had a major let-off when Limerick substitute Ronan Quirke punched wide near the end with four points between the teams.
A glorious third quarter helped transform the tie, Limerick coming from five points adrift after 31 minutes to lead at the water-break by 0-12 to 1-8.
They outpointed Cork 0-7 to 0-2 in the period as their height and power around the middle helped them get on top and their running at the Cork defence caused many problems.
In the first half Cork couldn’t have wished for a better start by scoring 1-1 inside four minutes.
After Man of the Match O'Connor kicked the opening point from a free, Cork supplied a contender for goal-of-the-season.
The move began with keeper Mikey O’Connell offloading to a waiting colleague before the ball was worked the length of the pitch.
It was last handled by O'Connor, who had a lot of work to do along the left, but he cut in and created enough room and time to blast home a brilliant goal.
But, instead of building on it, Cork went a further 18 minutes without adding to their tally, giving up possession cheaply and being wasteful in front of the posts.
They were denied a second goal, though, by a fine save by Limerick keeper Craig Macinnes, who turned aside O’Connor’s piledriver for a ’45.
Gradually, Limerick settled and grew in confidence with Ruairi Cronin a major presence at full-forward though Shane O’Connell did an outstanding policing job.
Cork only led by 1-1 to 0-2 at the water break, but they produced an exciting second quarter during which they outscored Limerick by 0-5 to 0-2.
Fittingly, it was O’Connor, who started the sequence after 22 minutes with a fine individual score as Michael McSweeney and O’Connor again stretched the advantage to 1-4 to 0-3.
A Darragh Murray free interrupted Cork’s flow, but a couple of quick-fire points from Jack O’Neill and Colm Gillespie extended Cork’s lead to five.
Limerick had final say of the period with a Sean Geraghty score, but seven wides hindered their progress.
Tyrone hammered Fermanagh by 6-21 to 1-6 after disposing of the Down challenge by 3-16 to 0-9 in the quarter-finals.
Donegal pipped Armagh by 1-6 to 0-5 following on from scoring 4-22 against Antrim and denying Monaghan by 1-9 to 0-10.
Meath are Leinster champions after a 3-8 to 1-3 victory over Dublin and meet Sligo.