THIS WAS an epic battle, a great tale and the kind of match that makes scribes and commentators take up their posts in the first place.
It had everything, a hat-trick, two penalties, brilliant scores, last ditch defending, some controversial injury time, a big crowd, two periods of extra time and the list goes on.
What about the performance of Marc Carpenter? The whispers in the stand were all about his possibilities of playing again for Carlow and there is nobody can argue against that after he played out of his skin.
An entire hour and 20 minutes of non-stop action made this the best game of the weekend and it all started in the first minute when Colm Quigley, who would need nerves of steel near the end of normal time, pointed a free for the Blues.
Paul Broderick is the definition of a dead ball specialist and him and Quigley put on a superb display and Broderick levelled the game after three minutes. Two fine scores by Cormac Walsh put Tinryland in the lead and Broderick made it 4-1 from play.
With almost a quarter of an hour gone Quigley made it 4-2 from a free but there was a feeling in the air that Tinryland looked fresher and the Blues were about to struggle.
Their one saving grace was that Marc Carpenter was giving John Paul Moore a nightmare of an afternoon but management left him marking the Blues veteran and after 15 minutes he was in possession in the large rectangle with the goal at his mercy.
Trevor O'Reilly had almost no choice but to pull him down and Graham Delaney buried one of the finest penalties you will see in the county grounds.
Suddenly the Blues had the lead and the earlier feeling of Blues struggle vanished as they came to life. Tinryland responded immediately from a Broderick point but a Quigley free and a stunning shot from a really hard angle from Carpenter gave the Blues the advantage.
At 1-4 to 0-5 neither team had real control on the game but that all changed when Gavin Walker got the Blues second goal after Trojan work from Carpenter had freed him across the square and the ball trickled agonisingly over the line.
Tinryland needed a big reply and they delivered in fine style as Paul Broderick reduced the lead to four points and then a brilliant Keith Jackson goal after great work by Michael Mullen would meant the Blues would lead at half time 2-4 to 1-6.
This was proper championship football and well worth any admission price for the neutrals and the action continued straight after the restart with another Quigley free in the first minute. Michael Mullen got on the ball a minute later and when it seemed no shot was on and he was under pressure from a defender he somehow managed to curl over a ridiculous point.
Marc Carpenter would kick the next two points even though there was a 10 minute gap between the two superb strikes but Paul Broderick followed suit with two of his own with 10 minutes of normal time to play.
Then came the most bizarre period of the game as there were four minutes of normal time announced by the officials.
The expert free takers had swapped the lead in the most brilliant style and both sides thought they had the game won and lost throughout the injury time.
Nobody in the whole ground though, apart from the referee seemed to know when the game was going to end though and eventually after 68 minutes and 40 seconds with the sides level, full time was called.
It was strange because people usually accuse referees of playing for a draw but in this instance it would seem the referee wanted to play next score wins every two minutes.
There were delays in the second half but eight and a half minutes was extreme to say the least.
O'Hanrahan's were furious with the decision to blow full time with the scores level and they also felt aggrieved about the equalising score which came from, in their mind, a soft free.
Maybe the Blues doubted their fitness and that was why they wanted the referee onside and to blow it up with them in the lead but they had no need to question it as they ran riot in extra time. They were like men possessed and on a mission to prove all the doubters wrong.
Tinryland would fail to score in extra time, what an amazing stat that is, no score in 25 minutes of football while the Blues would convert 2-4 with Graham Delaney completing a magnificent hat-trick with a shot that cracked off the post, then O'Reilly's back and finally the net. Six minutes later he converted his second penalty and the result was never in doubt.
John Brennan; Paul Farrell, Paul Connors, Davy Walker; Graham Power, Barry English, Brendan Keating; Colin Nolan, Ray Walker; Graham Delaney, Gavin Walker, Lee Walker; Colm Quigley, Simon Doyle, Marc Carpenter.
Trevor O'Reilly; Jeff Sutton, JP Moore, Mark Dempsey; Danny Moran, Shane Redmond, Niall Barrett; Keith Jackson, Glen Doyle; Padraig Townsend, Gary Morrissey, Michael Mullen; Paul Broderick, Cormac Walsh, Robbie Power. VENUE: Dr Cullen Park REFEREE: John Smithers