Kingdom come good - Delight for Kerry as they claim All-Ireland title for 37th time
BATTLE'S WON: Kerry fans delighted as their heroes defeat Donegal to claim the All-Ireland title for 37th time
The agony and the ecstasy - it could only be an All-Ireland football final day.
The smiles on the faces of the Kerry fans and the tears from the Donegal supporters told their own story.
Despite being level at half time, it was the Kingdom's day, and the hills of Donegal were silenced by a hard-fought 2-09 to 0-12 defeat at Croke Park.
Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice summed up the victory with the words: "It's a sweet one."
His team's young side clawed their way to the county's 37th title.
From early in the afternoon, fans - with some well-known faces among them - had filed into the famous stadium, with even the weather playing nice for the big day.
Crooner Daniel O'Donnell was there, clutching his Donegal flag and wearing his Donegal colours alongside his wife Majella.
Soccer star Shay Given, also wore his Donegal scarf for the team close to his heart, alongside his girlfriend Becky Gibson.
After the match was over he tweeted: "Congrats to Kerry, sad Donegal man here."
Politicians from across the political spectrum also attended the showdown, including President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Health Minister Leo Varadkar and Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. Former Fianna Fail leaders Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen were also among the crowd as was Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.
World famous film director Jim Sheridan was smartly dressed for the occasion and TV3's Noel Cunningham was dapper in his dicky bow.
A goal in the first minute set Kerry on its road to victory, eating the favourites in the season finale.
It completed a perfect green and gold day, with the county's seventh double after the minors won their earlier encounter, also against Donegal.
There had been a lot of hype in the run up to the game. And on the day itself both teams pushed each other to the limit.
In the dying embers of the senior's game, Donegal came close to netting an equalising goal, but Colm McFadden's fisted effort rebounded off the post.
After the game, a sombre Donegal manager Jim McGuinness delivered his own assessment of where it all went wrong.
"We didn't deliver what we were capable of delivering," he said, adding that "the energy wasn't there".
There will be plenty of days ahead for the Donegal men to do some soul searching about why they fell short. But it was undoubtedly Kerry's day, and the celebrations soon got underway in pubs all over the city after their stunning victory.
In the Kingdom itself, the preparations were being made to welcome the Sam Maguire back home again.
Kerry's Marc O Se said that the steadying influence of manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice was a key factor in their success.
It is five years since Kerry won the cup, and speaking from the winners banquet in a Dublin hotel last night, Mr Fitzmaurice said: "We are happy out."