The 2020 Allianz leagues are done. Finished. Over. Maybe not technically, with the GAA loath to completely abandon the competition before such a course of action is unavoidable.
But as a sporting entity, the 2020 Leagues are complete.
Best case scenario, there will be three months remove between the last inter-county match played and the next one.
Even if the outstanding games are played as precursors to a late-starting championship, they will have a distinctly different feel.
Here then, are our 2020 Allianz league awards.
FOOTBALLER OF THE LEAGUE
Shane Walsh (Galway)
Accepted wisdom attributes Shane Walsh’s scorching form to playing in a team with a new myopic devotion to attacking directly whenever they have the ball.
That ignores his outstanding performances in last year’s competition.
True, Galway are now programmed to immediately push the ‘go’ button in possession and Walsh has, at time, been unplayable in this new, unshackled modus operandi.
Galway have scored eight goals in five Division 1 games and for five of those, Walsh has had an involvement, scoring two himself.
Honourable mention: David Clifford (Kerry), James McCarthy (Dublin), Michael Murphy (Donegal)
Seán Bugler (Dublin)
In his latter years, Jim Gavin made a habit of holding back outstanding candidates for seniordom for one full season despite them clearly reaching a level where they could compete (see: Con O’Callaghan 2016, Brian Howard 2017).
Seán Bugler was that player in 2019 and like the aforementioned duo, looks all the more assured in his movements for his erstwhile manager’s patience.
Instrumental in Dublin’s big comebacks against Monaghan and Donegal, Bugler looks destined now for a starting summer jersey, particularly with such limited opportunity for others to take it off him.
Honourable mention: Ronan Steede (Galway), Oisín Mullen (Mayo).
David Clifford's goal v Dublin
First he beat Davy Byrne out in front, then he shrugged the Dublin full-back off to the side while executing a solo from his left foot high into his right hand, moving the ball sufficiently forward to allow Clifford continue his run, improbably, into goal-scoring range.
His finish; left-footed, low and just outside Evan Comerford’s left boot, was clinical too.
But the entire move, from his initial run to the last kick, was done with both remarkable economy and grace of movement.
Honourable mention: Shane Walsh's goal v Kerry, Brian Fenton's third point v Kerry.
The Battle of Omagh II
Dessie Farrell: “All I’ll say is, we came up here to play football and that was needless what happened.”
Mickey Harte: “There were just a lot of bodies in a confined space. Maybe that was a good thing, that nobody could get doing any damage to each other."
Result: €5,000 fines for both county boards and miraculously given the full-frontal nature of some of the tunnel exchanges, no suspensions for anyone.
HURLER OF THE LEAGUE
Tony Kelly (Clare)
The 2013 Hurler of the Year averaged over ten points a game as Clare went unbeaten through their abbreviated spring.
His accuracy from frees was an important driver of the Banner’s consistent form but Kelly contributed heavily from play too, scoring 0-16 in five games.
Kelly played all of those matches alongside David McInerney, whose natural defensive instincts allowed Kelly freedom to create and score.
It's a new, novel combination devised by Brian Lohan but the early-season evidence suggests it has the potential to liberate Kelly this summer.
Honourable mention: Conor Whelan (Galway), Gearóid Hegarty (Limerick), Shane O’Donnell (Clare).
Aaron Costello (Limerick)
The Kilmallock man is 27 this year but last season was his first on the Limerick senior panel, making his debut in a Munster League game against Kerry.
Things have accelerated for him in 2020.
He started Limerick’s second League game against Galway in the Gaelic Grounds, but that may only be the second most significant thing that happened for Costello that evening.
The cruciate ligament injury suffered by Richie English in the first of an eight-point victory has opened up a spot in a Limerick full-back line that seemed chiselled into stone.
After a strong finish to the un-finished league, he the prime contender to slot in.
Honourable mention: Jack Fagan (Waterford), Darren Morrissey (Galway), Ciarán Wallace (Kilkenny).
MOMENT OF MAGIC
Cian Lynch flick v Cork
For sheer originality, it has to be the latest skill to pop out of Cian Lynch’s box of tricks, an audacious flick that was as practical in its application as it was inventive and stylish.
There were 31 minutes played in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in January when Lynch tapped his hurley off a grounded sliotar between his legs and grabbed it behind his back, dodging out of a congested area of the pitch with the ball and the applause of everyone who saw it in the flesh.
Honourable mention: Shane O’Donnell’s second goal v Kilkenny, Conor Whelan's goal v Tipperary.
On the last Saturday in February, Limerick referee Johnny Murphy awarded 50 frees, 13 yellow cards and three red cards in a Division 1B game between Dublin and Wexford in Croke Park that could hardly be classed as rowdy or lawless.
The following afternoon in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Seán Cleere blew his whistle 42 times to award frees, with 26 points being shared between Cork and Limerick from placed balls that afternoon.
Davy Fitzgerald surmised hurling’s great conundrum best when he said: "If you were really technical about the rules you could blow non-stop."
Hurling is best enjoyed when some of its rules are liberally applied. Similar pedantry this summer won't be popular.