Dunloy captain Paul Shiels stood in the Ballycastle sunshine after claiming his fifth Antrim Hurling Championship and tried to sum up this most unusual of seasons.
Antrim county final day is a riot of colour and carnival, and despite the crowd restrictions there was a significant atmosphere around the place as Dunloy overpowered Loughgiel Shamrocks with a sensational third quarter.
As soon as the final whistle went, though, the lack of a pitch invasion, with the Dunloy faithful remaining on the bank, seemed bizarre.
Usually, county titles are springboards to even bigger days on the provincial stage but that won't be happening this year due to the pandemic.
"It is a wee bit disappointing that there is no Ulster Club Championship, especially given when the county season is, but that's the way it is," accepted Shiels.
"There is a real hunger and a desire in us. Slaughtneil now look to be dominating the Ulster Club and there is a real drive there. And the point is that they have taken away the Ulster hurling competition at county level. The final of the club was the showpiece in Ulster and there is a great hunger for it.
"So it is disappointing, but hopefully next year things can get to some sort of normality."
Dunloy may have the ultimate reward any club can aspire to in this coronavirus-hit season, but before the return to play they went through the same soul-searching and risk assessment as all others in questioning whether it was right.
"We left it open. If you didn't feel comfortable, there would be no ill-feeling if you didn't come back," 32-year-old Shiels revealed.
"It's been a tough year for everybody and it was just nice to get back out. It is so disappointing to see around only 200 fans here. TG4 came up to show the game and they want to showcase it as well. It's disappointing that it ends up like this."
The scenes later captured on camera phones in the village of Dunloy were impressive, but there was a lack of immediacy to the celebrations with fans not entering the field at the final whistle.
"It is a strange atmosphere here now because all the folks are on the hill and we are here. You want to go over and hug your family and you have to go to the fence to do that," he said.
"Still, 'Big Ears' (the colourful name given to the Volunteer Cup) is going back to Dunloy and that is the main thing."
All week, Shiels was a work in progress, having come off in the first quarter of last week's semi-final win over O'Donovan Rossa after sustaining a knock. Team physio Siofra O'Mullan played her part last week, manager Gregory O'Kane stating that she was working seven days a week.
Shiels explained: "It was more nerve damage than muscle damage. They were fit to work on it and I could rest up during the week to make it.
"Adrenaline could take you through the pain. The reward is great at the end of it, so I am just delighted. It's a pleasure to play with the boys. I am so delighted, just so happy for Gregory because Gregory puts his heart and soul into Dunloy hurling."