As we aim to banish a turbulent 2020 from our minds and hope for a better 2021, one of the leading questions in Northern Ireland sport is can Larne win their first Irish League title?
Tiernan Lynch's impressive side were top of the tree at Christmas, a point ahead of second placed Linfield, and the Inver Park men have played a game less than the champions.
The title race is normally a marathon rather than a sprint, but this season's fixtures calendar is not certain in the changing Covid-19 landscape.
Linfield were crowned title winners at the 31-game mark last year and the 2020-2021 campaign will need to reach the 22-match mark for champions to be declared. Only five teams are even halfway to that number.
Unbeaten Larne have won five on the spin, including a 3-1 home win over the Blues. So can the club, owned by Kenny Bruce, place the Gibson Cup alongside the County Antrim Shield in their trophy collection this season?
We asked former title winners for their thoughts.
I watched Larne against Cliftonville and they scored late on with a Josh Robinson header. They looked comfortable on the ball and they showed that quality of champions, to just keep going until they get their reward. They fought to the final whistle and that's a big quality to have.
It impresses me when teams keep going. I think they are the real deal. They are a threat to Linfield and they are the two favourites at the moment. Crusaders are the only other team who could have an impact, but the top two are strong.
Pitches may get worse and you'll have injuries and suspensions to cope with. Larne have a good squad and I've played against Davy McDaid, I know how dangerous he is. He's in stunning form and I really like Fuad Sule, I would have loved to have played against him.
He's a very underrated player, but every team needs a guy like him who can break up play, retain possession and launch attacks. I would say Linfield are slight favourites as they have been there and done it. David Healy, Jamie Mulgrew, Andy Waterworth, they are serial winners and know what it takes. When the pressure is on they know how to deliver.
Linfield could easily win seven in a row and there's not much room for slip-ups between the two of them. Both clubs will hope to be on top at the 22-game mark just in case the league does not finish.
I live in Larne, we run a café and my partner, Louise, is one of the club's sponsors. I was able to get to a few of their games before the virus came.
The whole community is excited and you see fans wearing shirts, people of all ages and that young support, including families, shows how it has engulfed the whole community.
Kenny (Bruce) is also building a hotel in the town centre. The transformation has been phenomenal, on and off the pitch. The club's mindset has changed and they are on course for European football.
I've been very impressed with them. If they bring in players in January they have every chance of being in with a shot at the death. My view is it's between Linfield, Larne and Crusaders.
If Larne don't win it, I don't believe they will be too far away. It will be close. They have managed it very well and they remain unbeaten.
They have beaten top sides and they are a strong outfit. Linfield are a good, strong side and will take some stopping. They have done it before, but that's not to say that Larne can't do it.
Linfield scored first against them but Larne were worthy winners.
If I was making a bet, I'd take a gamble on Larne. They've a good chance and, on current form, I think they can do it.
There's certainly an opportunity for Larne, who are going very well. They are a good, settled team and they have an identity in how they play.
A big plus for them is winning the County Antrim Shield. Some people will play that down but I would never do that. It's the first trophy of the campaign and that taste of success can create more hunger in players.
They have players who have won league championships such as Albert Watson, Conor Devlin, Tomas Cosgrove and Josh Robinson. The concept of winning a title isn't alien to the dressing room.
You have to understand that it's players who will win the league and they have players with those title-winning qualities. Whether they can maintain their form is another issue but they are contenders.
You never write off Linfield, Crusaders are still in the mix and there will be more twists. Look at Warrenpoint, who held Larne and Glentoran and beat Linfield.
The biggest challenge for Larne is how they cope with a few disappointing results. But they have superbly talented players and are winning games. They have scored late goals, and that's a skill in itself as it's a team that is never beaten.
Mentality wins league championships but we have just played the first round of games which gives you awareness of each other. The final round is when it becomes really vital.
They are challengers because of their quality, but they aren't winners yet.
Davy McDaid was their first marquee signing after turning down Linfield.
People questioned his lack of ambition but other players followed his example and a lot of their success is down to Davy's bravery in making that move. They may not have the depth of squad Linfield have but they still have a great bench.
One hundred per cent, Larne are serious title contenders despite the fact the players and management will play it down.
Within the changing room they will have the confidence and belief they can stay with Linfield to the finish line.
No matter what club you are, Linfield are the benchmark in this league.
Their sustained success has been incredible, and they have set the standard. The players understand the expectation levels but the closest team to them will be Larne.
Crusaders will have a big say in it and it's Linfield's to lose but Larne won't be far away.
Davy McDaid is in a rich vein of form and a top quality player. He replaced Liam Boyce in our Cliftonville team and people said Joe (Gormley) wouldn't score as many goals, but he kept banging them in alongside Davy.
He has all the attributes to be the best striker in the league.
He just needs to stay fit and stay on top of the game.
He's been outstanding this year.
Score goals, you win games but clean sheets are just as imporant.
Conor Devlin is the best keeper in the league, no doubt about it.
Former Linfield player Albert Watson has huge experience and marshalls his defence well.
Marty Donnelly is a wonderful passer of the ball and can create opportunities.
They are strong all over the pitch and, of course, Tomas Cosgrove knows how to win championships.
They are blessed with a good squad and it could be an epic title chase, with Larne's full-time model showing its value.
You've got to give Larne as good a chance as anyone.
When you look at their squad and resources, they are challengers and their performances have shown that.
They have become the team to beat.
People at Larne will play their chances down and quite rightly so.
It's brilliant the investment there, for the club and the town, and it's brilliant for the league as full-time set-ups improve the game.
They have brought in quality players from outside the country and they are good to watch.
I think they can press for the title but you just don't know what will happen.
I wouldn't write them off.
Most people would have said 'finish above Linfield and you'll win the league', and I still think that's the case. Linfield have been there and done it and have a bit more experience, but winning becomes a habit and they have a good mentality and quality players who have won leagues.
Their confidence is high, they are impressive at home and people will question how they do on the more muddy pitches late in the season.
Linfield always come good when the pressure is on them, so I'd say both clubs have a fighting chance. I just hope the league can be concluded.