Seldom, if ever, has a final whistle sounded so good. 
When Rory Hickey blew his whistle on Saturday afternoon following 68 minutes of pulsating Colleges football, St. Michael’s College, Enniskillen led their Naas CBS rivals by a point 1-12 to 1-11. 
The lead had been four at one stage, three going into six minutes of injury time that turned out to be nearly eight, the nerves were fraying, Naas were attacking and the tension was palpable. 
Sean McNally saves a fine effort with his feet, St. Michael’s break with a pace and precision that typifies the quality of this side and Conor Love fires over a cracker with that trusty left boot of his. 
This county does not win many All-Ireland titles, does not get the chance to win many and here we are hanging on a little, hoping and praying. To be honest, I have been watching the clock on the big screen to my left since about the 40th minute. 
Naas pull it back to the minimum and still no whistle. Then Naas hit a wide, that must be it? 
It is, the whistle goes. 
I have often wondered what winning an All-Ireland would feel like. Elation, relief and joy flood the senses, Naas players drop to the ground, St. Michael’s players jump for joy, Dom Corrigan is mobbed and the fans, young and old, go mad in the stands and even the press box. Dare I say it, now is the time for a few flares.
That, as they say, is sport at its finest and Saturday was our day. It felt good.
Indeed, after beating teams from Down, Derry, Tyrone, Mayo and Kildare, nobody could say it was not deserved. 
It is a strange quirk of human nature that in the midst of the joy of a pulsating win that we also tend to look back. These sorts of wins are rarely the result of one year but rather the culmination of many years of hard graft. 
I’m taken back to an interview several years ago with Peter McGinnity who explained, how, when he arrived at the school in 1979, the first priority was to get out of McLarnon football and be competitive in the MacRory Cup sphere. 
13 years later, St. Michael’s were more than competitive as Peter led them to the trophy for the first time in more than 20 years with the likes of Tony Collins, Martin Greene and the prolific Raymie Gallagher in the team. 
Dom Corrigan was now at the school and in 1999 St. Michael’s won the MacRory in fine style with Dom at the helm, my colleague Colm Bradley the star of that particular show with an impressive 2-04. 
Also at that time, I started reporting on games like these and for the next few years, St. Michael’s were ever present in the finals and there were some fine matches. 
They lost a cracker to Armagh in 2000, a game that featured future All Stars like Barry Owens and Martin McGrath for St. Michael’s and Sean Cavanagh and Ronan Clarke for St. Patrick’s. 
2001 was shared after a Dom Corrigan masterclass in the second half somehow resurrected a draw against Omagh CBS and then the foot and mouth crisis kicked in, travel was stopped and the famous old trophy was shared. 
There was a rather bizarre photo of St. Michael’s captain Paul Gunn holding the trophy aloft on a Belfast street in his St. Michael’s kit and wearing the standard school black shoes! 
2002 and St. Michael’s were back in the final and winning this time, Shaun Doherty, James Sherry, Ryan Keenan and Ciaran O’Reilly among the stars on that day. 
In 2008 a one point defeat to St. Patrick’s, Dungannon was hard to stomach after a blistering start but an injury to Darryl Keenan at a crucial time saw this one slip away for a team that included the likes of Ryan Jones and Mattie Donnelly. 
Then in 2012, a team featuring Rory Brennan, the Cullen twins and Eddie Courtney in attack overcame the odds to defeat Maghera in a low scoring final which brings us nicely up to 2019. 
The Hogan Cup had always been a step too far, a Michael Meehan inspired St. Jarlath’s, Tuam proved too good in 2002 by 16 points while a 13 point defeat to St. Mary’s, Edenderry was another bad day at the office in 2012. But Saturday was not a bad day at the office, quite the opposite in fact.
There are two main points to this retrospective. 
One is to give this current team the place it deserves. I have mentioned some great teams, some great players and no doubt omitted many great teams and even more great players. Many have went on to represent Fermanagh and indeed Tyrone with much distinction. 
But one thing is certain, and I have seen a fair few teams in the last 20 years, this team is the most complete. 
Not just because of their success but the manner in which these tight games were won.
Scoring forwards, strong and aggressive midfielders and a backline with pace and power, willing to break forward whenever possible. Luke Flanagan’s lung bursting run in injury time set up Conor Love for what turned out to be the winning point, a case in point. 
The teams also illustrates the typical Dom Corrigan traits of quality defending all over the field. How many scoreable frees were conceded on Saturday and how many times did Naas shoot wide when under pressure, for instance? 
This group of players should reflect on what they have achieved and bring it forward for what should be sparkling senior careers. Brandon Horan and all his charges have the GAA world at their feet.
The other point is that none of this would have happened without all the previous wins and heartbreaking losses combined. It would not have happened without people like Peter McGinnity, Dom Corrigan or a school that sees a merit in sporting excellence. 
It is one thing having a talented group of players but they need an ideology and framework in which to flourish. 
And oh how this team has flourished.