HE was never going to go out quietly. You could have bet your bottom dollar Stuart Hogg was going to make sure his last appearance in Glasgow Warriors colours was something to remember but he would probably have given just about anything for it not to end the way it did.

In the 65th minute, up went yet another high ball in the rain from Leinster with Rob Kearney in hot pursuit. Up, in turn, went Hogg, taking the ball at the peak of his leap and being clattered to the ground a millisecond later.

For most of the 47,128 there, it was a stitched-on red card, but the only man who mattered was Nigel Owens, the referee, who reckoned it was only a yellow. While he was making his decision, though, off Hogg went.

At first it looked as though it was a head injury assessment – serious but he might be back, he might still conjure up that moment o match-winning magic everyone hoped for.

Then, realisation dawned. He was not coming back. His time with Glasgow was over. Ending not with the silverware and glory he was desperate to leave as his legacy but with another near miss. Worse still, he was partly to blame for the result.

It had been Hogg’s kick that was charged down in the first half to gift Leinster their opening try after his team-mates had edged in front. In a three-point loss, that fivepointer was crucial.

Hogg did all he could to rectify it. He got involved in everything. The rest of his kicking game was up to it’s normal standard, belting it downfield, far enough to sail over the heads of the Leinster defence, popping up at fly half, running clever lines in attack, supporting half breaks from Kyle Steyn and Adan Hastings, covering back to stop Ringrose getting a second score when he broke a Glasgow siege.

It was all there but in the end, his most telling contribution to attack was becoming the victim of Kearney’s indiscipline. When Glasgow had the man advantage, they were able to battle their way back to within three points of their opponents with Grant Stewart’s try but could not sustain the pressure once Leinster were restored to 15 men.

Not that it did much to silence the crowd. Glasgow knows how to party and with celebrations across the city already in full swing after events in Hampden, the Guinness PRO14 record crowd were in full voice from before a ball was kicked.

It may be all green in Celtic Park but this was a strictly blue occasion, the key blue of the Warriors up against the darker hue favoured by their opponents. That much blue must have been a bit confusing for any Celtic fans who got lost on their way to H a mp d e n a n d turned up at the wrong ground.

It’s only four years since the PRO14 stopped awarding the final to the team that finished higher in the league stage and took it to a neutral venue. Glasgow were the first winners when it was in Belfast, now the question was: could they also win the first major final taken to their home city?

There have been major rugby occasions in Glasgow before, a load of internationals in the years before Murrayfield became the permanent venue. There has been the odd touring match, the Commonwealth Games sevens and even a couple of Rugby World Cup games in 1999. None quite like this, though.

Leinster fans had done their province proud and, just two weeks after sending a small army to Newcastle for their Heineken Champions Cup final, they were back across the Irish Sea to roar their team on again. They didn’t stand a chance though.

Glasgow Warriors are the only team that rival the Irish for travelling support and on their own patch, they were never going to be drowned out. The volume rose to a crescendo when tier heroes took to the field and hardly relented in a breathless opening three minutes of non-stop action that set the tone for the rest of the game. If you thought that was loud, just wait until Glasgow stole a line out and thousands of home fans gave voice to their joy.

The dampeners were soon on, both literally and metaphorically, as Stuart Hogg’s charged-down kick gifted Leinster their opening try just as the rain returned. Handling, the core part of Glasgows style, got trickier. Nor did the scoring help. A Glasgow penalty added to the lead but Leinster are a wily old lot and when they edged in front, there was as much apprehension as enthusiasm in the vocal support.

It rose again whenever Glasgow built up a head of steam but it was a soggy night, and the experience of a Leinster side who have won the Heineken Champions Cup and are the reigning PRO14 holders proved too much.

A soggy ending for Hogg. Maybe a tear or two hidden in the rain tumbling down his face. He says he is only off only for the time being. But with so much unfinished business, this might be the game that guarantees he will be anxious to return.