Loughrea 0-20 St Thomas' 1-17
St Thomas' hopes of winning their fifth Galway SHC title in a row remain alive but they will have to do it all over again next Sunday after Tiernan Killeen landed a superb equaliser for Loughrea in the fourth minute of injury-time at Pearse Stadium.
It was a fitting end to a thrilling match, where the reigning champions St Thomas' only went in front for the first time in the game in the third minute of injury-time but neighbours Loughrea did not give up and their hopes of claiming their first title since 2006 also remain very much alive.
Loughrea led by 0-12 to 0-10 at the break having played with the wind but neither side got on top for long periods during a highly entertaining clash in front of around 6,000.
They got a blistering start when Martin McManus struck three points from play in the opening two minutes and by the 12th minute they had stretched the lead out to 0-8 to 0-3, with Neil Keary hitting three frees and Ian Hanrahan and Oisin Coyle also getting points.
But St Thomas', who had opted to play against the wind, didn't panic, with a couple of points from Darragh Burke and an opening score from Victor Manso settling them.
Captain Conor Cooney landed four frees from distance in the opening half and Eanna Burke also hit two from play as St Thomas' prevented Loughrea from building a big lead before the break.
Keary brought his opening half haul to six points from frees before the break but efforts from Cooney and Oisin Flannery before the interval cut the gap to two.
Cooney and Keary twice exchanged points in the third quarter before Cooney cut the gap to 0-14 to 0-13 after 44 minutes with another free.
But Loughrea responded well with captain Ian Hanrahan getting his second point and McManus landing his fourth to lead by a goal with 12 minutes left.
Another Cooney free reduced the gap before efforts from Keary and Joe Mooney pushed Loughrea four between them after Loughrea were reduced to 14 men when Darren Shaughnessy picked up a second yellow card.
But St Thomas' hit back and Eanna Burke blasted to the net after being set up by Damien McGlynn after 53 minutes and Eanna Burke then levelled from the left a minute later.
Jamie Ryan edged Loughrea back in front before Cooney levelled and then Eanna Burke edged the champions in front in stoppage time.
But there was still enough time for Killeen to save the day for Loughrea when he struck a superb equalising point to send the final to a replay after a gripping decider.
Loughrea: Gearoid Loughnane; Johnny Coen, Paul Hoban, Kieran Hanrahan; Ian Hanrahan (0-02), Oisin Coyle (0-01), Brian Keary; Jamie Ryan (0-01), Tiernan Killeen (0-01); Darren Shaughnessy, Dylan Shaughnessy (0-01), Anthony Burns; Neil Keary (0-09, 0-08f), Martin McManus (0-04), Joe Mooney (0-01). Substitutes: Sean Sweeney for I Hanrahan (57), Caimin Killeen for Dylan Shaughnessy (59), Shane O'Brien for Burns (59).
St Thomas': Gerald Kelly; Cian Mahony, Fintan Burke, Cathal Burke; Evan Duggan, John Headd, Mark Caulfield; Bernard Burke, David Burke; Victor Manso (0-01), Conor Cooney (0-09, 0-08f), Darragh Burke (0-02); Damien McGlynn, Eanna Burke (1-04), Oisin Flannery (0-01). Subs: Shane Cooney for Caulfield (half-time), Brendan Farrell for Manso (45), Conor Headd for John Headd (57), Damien Finnerty for B Burke (62).
Referee: Shane Hynes (Oranmore/Maree)