I have checked and, despite exhaustive research, I have no concrete proof that Charles Dickens was a fan of Irish League football.
There are a few pointers in this direction, mainly that he was born in Portsmouth and died in 1870, so he never got the chance to toddle along to Ulsterville to see Linfield lift the first of their 54 league titles in 1891.
And for the main part, the Gibson Cup has remained in Belfast ever since. It has only left the city 10 times - Portadown (4), Glenavon (3) and one apiece for Coleraine, Ards and Derry City - leaving the country cousins looking enviously on.
But as Dickens prophetically said in his Tale of Two Cities, 'it was the best of times, it was the worst of times', and who knew back then that he was talking about Larne? Probably.
Riding high, albeit at a very early stage in the Danske Bank Premiership, they met their sternest challenge to date on Tuesday night when they played host to similarly unbeaten Linfield in the Co Antrim Shield semi-final.
After going a goal down they were given a major helping hand after Stephen Fallon's early audition for next year's Strictly ended with dance partner Mark Randall falling on his pasa doble and he wasn't shown a number but a red card.
Linfield boss David Healy complained bitterly afterwards that it was a poor decision by referee Steven Gregg, arguing that Randall had slipped over.
He has a point. To a point. Certainly there looks to be minimal contact when Randall eventually tumbles, but there is no doubt at all that Fallon had a huge lump of his shirt, so it is certainly in the 'I've seen them given' category.
To rub salt in the wounds, Marty Donnelly curled home a wonderful free-kick, and from then on there was only going to be one winner.
A Davy McDaid double and a late John Herron header wrapped up the victory and booked a final date with Glentoran on December 1.
While Healy will still be raging about the rights or wrongs of the decision, there is no argument that this was another red letter day for the men from Inver Park.
While many will see 2020 as a year to forget, for those in east Antrim it could well be a season of Light in a season of Darkness, as Mr Dickens might have added.
My regular readers will know my admiration of the remarkable transformation at the club, on and off the pitch.
A quick look at their league form in this calendar year to date shows that they have won all seven games at Inver Park, rattling in 16 goals and conceding just two, with five clean sheets, including another against Ballymena United last Saturday.
It means they have three wins out of three in the league and the next test of that will be a Shield final rehearsal against the Glens on Saturday evening at The Oval.
"But sure it's only because of yer man's money," will be the cry of the envious, but Kenny Bruce's deep pockets can only go so far. They have steadily put the building blocks in place to try and make little Larne a big contender.
Plans are now in place for a new grandstand, the next step in an ever-changing Inver Park, and they are certainly trying to make the best of the worst of times.
When the shutters came down early on the league last season they were in great form, coming up quickly in the finishing straight but then having to settle for sixth when things were closed down too quickly.
There were many eyebrows raised and a few feathers ruffled when McDaid signed for Larne from Waterford back in 2017.
Healy, snubbed by the former Cliftonville striker for a second time, mischievously suggested that "maybe he just couldn't handle the challenge of coming to play for the champions".
McDaid fired back at the time and added another riposte with his double strike on Tuesday night, and has a remarkable record for Larne with 50-odd goals in just over 80 appearances.
No one is daft enough to think that the financial carrot dangled by Mr Bruce hasn't been a factor in the arrival of players from far and wide.
I'm sure when Randall was brought on for Denilson playing for Arsenal in 2006 he didn't think to himself, 'Y'know, I think Shane's Hill is lovely in the autumn, I'm off to Larne'.
Linfield pay big dosh, in local football terms, and forever and a day they largely had things their own way, but now there is new money in town and across the city.
After another (very short) close season, Glentoran, like Larne, have invested heavily again, and Mick McDermott can casually point to the trophy cabinet at the Irish Cup his side collected back in the summer as proof of money well spent.
But like all those in situ in the Oval Office, the tenure is as secure as Donald Trump's hair in a stiff breeze and, like the Don, McDermott continues to polarise opinion, and that's just among the Glens faithful.
I started in the Tele back in 2005 and it has been a recurring joke in all that time when we are stuck for a headline on a Glentoran story that 'Glens in crisis' is usually a go-to solution.
And so it continues. The natives are growing restless and, as Eddie Patterson can testify to, the green, red and black ribbons on the side of the Irish Cup does not guarantee long-term security.
The arrival of Jay Donnelly and the fallout from that, coupled with a shaky start to the new league campaign, as the Glens sit 10th with a single point from three games, means that 'Glens in crisis' headline is being dusted off. Again.
Managing Glentoran is like owning a pet crocodile. It can be great fun to start with, but after a while it is going to end badly.
Of course, the fickle world of football fans means that a couple of wins in the league and winning the Shield would mean the world is tickety-boo again, which it isn't, given the reality of life at the moment.
Let's hope that a sizeable number of fans get to see the final. It promises to be a cracker or, as Mr Dickens may have said, 'I believe, with all my soul, that we shall see triumph'.
And to think they said I would never benefit from being married to an English teacher.