Once the final whistle went at the end of extra-time on Sunday evening in the Ulster Club senior football semi-final, everyone could finally exhale.
You suspect that nobody breathed out with relief quite like Mickey Moran. He was in an impossible situation of managing against the club he – and his sons - played all his career with. And yet Kilcoo prevailed probably because of their experience and killer instinct.
The bond between him and his Kilcoo players was evident as Ceilum Doherty made straight for him at the final whistle.
Afterwards, Paul Devlin, the man who made the telling contributions to wrestle the game away from Glen, tried to unpick the delicate situation Moran found himself in.
“Mickey is just a different kind of man, so humble in that he shows respect to everybody,” Devlin explained.
“At the same time, because of where he is from and that, you have to be cold-hearted in that situation. You have to put that in the background.
“It’s about putting the performance out there on the field. There were 25 boys out there and all they wanted to do was win the game.
“With Glen out now, we can say we are happy for Mickey to have won it, but at the same time you have to be cold-hearted about these things, put in the performance and get over the line.”
Devlin made the difference in the end. When the game was slipping away from Kilcoo with Glen having taken the lead at 0-9 to 0-8 just prior to the break in extra time, it was Devlin that forced a turnover on a Glen kickout.
He had the presence of mind to scoop it up and by that stage Jerome Johnston hared towards goal. One handpass later and it was buried in the net.
"That's probably the difference today, the team that makes the least mistakes wins the game and luckily I found myself in a position to put Jerome in. You wouldn't want a better goalscorer at the moment, he found the spot and from there we kind of stood our authority and protected it a bit and that wee bit of experience in knowing how to get over the line,” he said.
"You just have to react to situations when they come at you, I was in a good position and when it came you throw yourself into it and hope you come out the better end of it and luckily I did and got the pass away to Jerome to rattle the net."
A couple of frees had Glen still within touching distance, but Devlin found himself away on the right touchline standing over a free that he sailed over expertly to seal it at the end. Such pressures is what he welcomes, he explains.
"You love those moments, you go down the field during the week and you practice in the hope that you will have a crowd watching, I'm delighted I am our freetaker because you do get a bit of moment of incentive and enjoyment whenever you are hitting them.”
In a game when it was almost prefereable not to have the ball, so that you could achieve a turnover and launch a counter-attack, it was a battle for the ages.
Kilcoo’s Ulster club odyssey began when they won their first of nine Down titles in the last ten years. Since then the team has been transformed and there is a serious freshness to them now.
“You seen out there, the young boys playing like Sheelan Johnston, Anthony Morgan, Miceal Rooney now coming to the fore,” said Devlin.
“Ryan McEvoy who is still only 21, there is a lot of good youth there. I am happy to see those young lads getting on the ball and expressing themselves because it’s wonderful football to watch.”
Even for all that, they still put Conor Laverty on for the closing stages for all that he brings.
“You want him on the field because he does provide that wee bit of cuteness and wee bit of craft to develop things that other people cannot see. And he can run the clock down a wee bit,” Devlin said.
Now, Kilcoo will have to go easy on the turkey and eggnog, with an Ulster final looming on January 16th against Derrygonnelly, convincing winners over Clann Eireann on Saturday night.
“I suppose in 2019 we sort of had that experience so it is kind of normal for us now that we are expecting we are going to have a quiet Christmas,” Devlin smiled.
“We don’t mind at all. We are happy to train and will start again on Monday night so it doesn’t really bother us what the situation is as long as we are in the final.
“What’s the inside of a pub look like? I haven’t been in one for a couple of years!”