HEARTS treated the fans at Tynecastle with a game for the ages, chucking goals at them with nine smackers to savour and stack up as evidence that the end of the football world in the old country is not yet nigh.
But beware the analysts, the dissectors, the smart Alecs. They will tell you of wholesale naivety, amateurish attempts at covering, desertion of ‘zones’, loss of ‘shape’, and the rest of the clichéd clap-trap which masquerades as football intelligence.
For the rest of us who turn up to enjoy the raison d’etre of the old game, scoring goals, Tynecastle was the place to be.
By late in the second half there was an overwhelming urge to ask the ref to let them carry on until they got fed up. We might have reached 21-12.
If a couple of goals were down to slackness in defence, most were the consequence of brilliant opportunism, superb creativity, or individual inspiration. John Colquhoun, scorer of a hat trick, figures in all three.
It would have been too much to expect the losing manager to take a detached, philanthropic view of the day’s proceedings but Gordon Wallace maybe overstated his annoyance when he said that, in terms of a kamikaze exercise, his team would have been as well throwing themselves off the Forth Bridge en route to Tynecastle.
Not them all, surely. Two, three, four maybe? Wallace insisted that no-one in his team played well, not even Billy Dodds who scored two goals.
That was possibly a fair assessment but the fact is that if he had been told beforehand that his men would score three goals he would certainly have been satisfied.
It was easy to feel sorry for them all but especially Alan Dinnie, the 26-year-old who had signed for Dundee on the Thursday before the match.
Kept on the bench until the second half, the man who left Partick Thistle achieved his ambition to play in the Premier Division at the point when his team were losing 4-1.
He and his fellow dug-out residents had scarcely got themselves comfortable when Hearts had gone two ahead.
Stewart Forsyth underestimated the devilish cunning of Wayne Foster, who anticipated the next move as the full-back chased a high ball towards his own goal. The Hearts forward stole the ball, ran on, and hit it past Tom Carson.
The keeper lifted the ball out again after John Robertson, looking once more like the sharp striker he can be, did a neat turn and shot in the same manoeuvre.
Three minutes gone and Hearts’ backroom staff were shaking hands as they celebrated their jump to the top of the Premier Division.
They then sat and suffered as their lads went into recess, letting Dundee steer a path into the match with a goal by Wes Saunders.
Indeed, if Colquhoun had not scored his first just before the interval, smashing a wonderful drive past Carson after meandering past a couple of defenders, there might have been a different tale to tell.
Colquhoun, however, added his second after turning with grace and accuracy on a fine through pass from Bannon.
Dodds scored just before Colquhoun completed his hat-trick and, after substitute Scott Crabbe had hit No.6 for Hearts, Dodds was back again to make it a remarkable 6-3.
Hearts: Smith, McLaren, McKinlay, Levein, Kirkwood, McPherson, Colquhoun, Mackay, Foster, Robertson, Bannon