The game was long lost for Fermanagh on Saturday, with Monaghan totally in control.
To their credit, the Erne players never stopped trying, despite knowing that their season was over with no backdoor game to fall back on - which in itself is a joke.
Ciaran Corrigan was burrowing down the wing and received a tug on the jersey. A Fermanagh selector and a Monaghan player exchanged a few smart comments, but even sitting in the Clones press box you could hear the Monaghan player taunting his adversary, repeatedly saying: “Tailteann Cup, boys!”
It was cruel, yes, but this is not tiddlywinks either. And it was far from the worst thing I have heard exchanged on a pitch.
Even though the proposed second-tier competition is yet to take flight, it is being used as salt to rub in open wounds. Why is this?
Players and some management feel that shuffling or siphoning some teams off to a second-grade competition is the thin end of the wedge. There are around 28 counties now fighting a serious struggle to raise money to prepare teams like the elite, where money is less of an issue.
Whether it is publicly acknowledged or not, there is a serious bang of Upstairs, Downstairs with the servants seen as a much lower caste. Not a priority. And that has bred resentment.
I’m perfectly certain that some Antrim players feel that way too. But you only have to read the quotes of their manager Enda McGinley, a man who dined at the top table throughout his playing career and has three All-Irelands and an All-Star to show for it.
“I think teams at that level have been pretty strong in their opinion that they don’t want it (Tailteann Cup),” he said.
“I still think that there is an argument for it and that is not our choice, people will read into it how it is.
“I think if we enclose completely the top eight teams together, them battering off each other the whole time, their standards will just rise and rise.
“On the one hand yes, more competitive games would be good. But siphoning off the smaller teams completely from the top teams means that gap only ever increases.”
He developed the point into one of panel continuity, and the sense of having to start all over again every year.
“That requires a much greater sacrifice without less greater rewards. And yet, without that, the small teams can’t cross over,” he said.
“That goes back to what competitions do we give them to prolong their summer, to get that amount of conditioning in the legs, can we have the finals played on a suitable stage that it is a real honour?”
Take another, former Kerry player and manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice, and what he said recently: “A huge factor in either option fulfilling its potential is the success of the Tailteann Cup. Players have to want to play in it, counties have to want to win it, and supporters must want to go and see it.
"If it is marketed properly it will have a broad appeal. I won a Junior All-Ireland Club medal with Finuge and it remains a unique memory for me. Winning an All-Ireland with my own people and the lads that I grew up with was special.
“Did it matter to me or my friends that we didn’t beat Dr Crokes, Nemo, Crossmaglen or Corofin to win it? Not a jot.”
Or another. In February 2018, Sean Cavanagh had been retired from Tyrone duty for a few months and found himself at the foot of the Hogan Stand, getting pictures taken with his family after his club, the Moy, won an All-Ireland Intermediate Club crown.
“My wife doesn’t normally allow GAA memorabilia around the house but that one will be very special,” said Cavanagh. “I’d been thinking about that picture for a few days. Maybe that’s it, maybe it’s meant to be, that this is where it ends. It’s a beautiful day.”
Others have hailed such victories, even though they did not come in a ‘senior’ competition.
Take it from the other perspective.
In 2015, the victorious Fermanagh hurling team held a medal presentation after winning the Lory Meagher Cup. That night, they partied like it was a Liam MacCarthy Cup. JP McGarry danced that hard he put the backside out of his trousers.
It meant everything to them and within the tiny hurling fraternity in the county they finally had something on the men that had won the All-Ireland Junior Hurling Championship in 1994.
Fact is, around 90% of inter-county teams now will not win a senior football All-Ireland. They can only dream of a provincial title. Another tournament that takes them further into the year is a means to start bridging the gap.
The Tailteann Cup seems the only logical thing to do.