When the National League begins this weekend and the pre-season games (by and large) reach their conclusion, the GAA will be greatly relieved.
From start to finish, a miserably wet January wreaked havoc with a schedule that had presumably been fit for purpose when decided upon last year.
Yet, as each provincial committee struggled to demonstrate an effective contingency plan for the enforced postponement of games, sense appeared to go out the window as the playing commitments of those involved continued to diversify.
This exploration of Galway, Roscommon and the FBD League were but one example of how difficult things got.
In the week just gone, Meath's footballers were considering a withdrawal from the O'Byrne Cup after qualifying for the final against their neighbours, Westmeath.
Ultimately, weather conditions again would mean that yesterday's scheduled final in Portlaoise would be rendered unplayable.
Already a source of some anguish for both county boards, the final of a pre-season tournament will now have to be played within the season itself. An understandable exception due to the reasons behind yesterday's postponement, how the GAA have decided to reschedule it has raised further concerns over the amount of common sense being displayed.
The OByrne Cup final is refixed for the same day as Meath play Westmeath in NHL Div2A. Here's a great idea, why don't ye play them as a double header in Navan...perfect... what do the GAA do? One game in Mullingar, one in Trim... crazy
— Fergal Lynch (@truefergallynch) January 22, 2018
So, handed the unlikely opportunity of rescheduling the football final for a day when the two counties are already playing out a hurling fixture, it has been decided that such a double-header is not the preferable choice.
You'd understand if Westmeath didn't want to concede home advantage at this stage, but when they didn't have it in the first place, that's just crazy fixturemaking
— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) January 22, 2018
A scheduling decision that is unquestionably rooted in a certain (commercial, presumably) logic, the adamant nature with which the integrity of pre-season games are being treated beggars belief really.
If we are to assume that the provincial body in charge of scheduling this game is not capriciously veering away from the nationally run hurling fixture, one is really left wondering who exactly this decision is in the best interests of?
Balls.ie contacted the Leinster GAA Council earlier today to ascertain why the games have been scheduled as such, but, as yet, they have not offered a reason.