The coronavirus pandemic which has held the entire island in a vice-like grip since March has, to a large extent, wreaked havoc in a sporting context.
Yet when it was decided after protracted deliberations that the GAA should assign its traditionally peak period of the year to club action only, it was to prove an inspired step.
It is worth bearing in mind that up until mid-July doubts remained that a ball would be kicked or a sloithar struck this summer.
Yet here we are a matter of weeks down the line from then and the closing stages of the various County Championships have been reached.
While this in itself is something of a feat within a sport blighted for so long by 11th-hour match cancellations for the most tenuous of reasons, the fact that Ulster clubs in particular have soared to a new peak in terms of performance reinforces the notion that a new path in relation to the future has been laid.
The county finalists in Armagh are known, while Fermanagh, Tyrone, Antrim and Monaghan are at the semi-final stage and the Donegal, Down and Cavan semi-finalists will be known after this weekend, with Derry's quarter-finalists set to be established over the course of Saturday and Sunday.
Normally, Club Championship ties are staged in tandem with inter-county competitions, but this year clubs have had the summer stage to themselves - and how they have grabbed the opportunity.
Ulster Council spokesman Declan Woods said: "Obviously the Ulster Council is very pleased so far. The fare on offer has been great and I have no doubt that the various county finals will still be major sporting occasions despite the absence of fans, if that still pertains."
Last weekend's Tyrone quarter-final between reigning champions Trillick and challengers Killyclogher was arguably one of the best club matches witnessed anywhere for a long time and, going to a penalty shoot-out as it did, fans were kept on the edge of their seats until the final whistle sounded.
The fact that those seats, for the most part, were in the fans' own living rooms merely ensured that the phenomenal performances of Lee Brennan (Trillick) and Mark Bradley (Killyclogher) in particular reached a whole new audience across the island courtesy of TG4.
With Killeavy having come close to putting one over red-hot Armagh favourites Crossmaglen Rangers on Sunday, Portglenone only managing to get the better of St Gall's in yet another penalty shoot-out in Antrim on Tuesday night and Oisin McConville's Inniskeen Grattans having stunned title holders Clontibret to reach Sunday's Monaghan semi-final against Ballybay, there has been no shortage of hot topics.
But for all the endeavours of those teams nurturing hopes of entering a sporting paradise, it is worth noting that Slaughtneil remain in the mix to reclaim the Derry title, Derrygonnelly Harps are in hot pursuit of what would be a sixth successive Fermanagh crown, Kilcoo could yet make it nine Down trophies in 12 years and - wait for it - Crossmaglen Rangers have their sights set on what would be their 22nd Armagh triumph in 25 years.
You would have to say, indeed, that some things rarely ever change.