Cork will face Kilkenny in the Allianz Hurling League final thanks to a 1-25 to 2-15 win over Munster rivals Tipperary but a summer so ripe for potential for the Rebels looks like it may unfold without their talisman and captain Donal Og Cusack.
The Cloyne netminder was stretchered off in the 17th minute after sustaining a suspected Achilles injury when dealing with an awkward ball that dropped in under his crossbar at hurling's spiritual home.
Thurles Sarsfields star Pa Bourke hit five points for the Premier County in the first-half, with Cork's Patrick Horgan claiming four as the sides ended a closely fought opening 35 minutes level on 0-10 each.
In front of a crowd of 15,424, Luke O'Farrell and Gearoid Ryan traded scores early in the second-half and Horgan frees in the 40th and 44th minutes restored the Rebels' two-point cushion before Brian 'Buggy' O'Meara got the goal the game was crying out for on 46 minutes.
Tipperary soon found the net for the second time thanks to substitute Eoin Kelly but O'Farrell's 57th minute effort left Cummins stranded in the Tippearary goal to leave the visitors a point ahead, 1-18 to 2-14 and once they got their noses in front Cork never looked back with inspirational scores from subsitutes Conor Lehane and Darren Sweetman and the old dog for the hard road, Niall McCarthy, proved to be the icing on the cake for Jimmy Barry-Murphy's side.