Cork manager John Allen's future hangs in the balance this afternoon, as he considers another year, and push for the title, as Rebels boss.
Speaking in this morning's Irish Independent, the disheartened school-teacher commented:
'Obviously, fellas have to reflect. I've had four years at this level, it's a huge time commitment and I'll need to discuss it with my wife and kids, so I'll need a few weeks.'
Being on the brink, but also in the shadow of a third consecutive spell as champions was, Allen believes, made much more difficult by the current system.
'We have been contenders for the past four years, we have put a huge amount of work into it, a lot of science, a lot of preparation...but given the system that there's now, where there's a back door, you don't get one-sided finals anymore.
'The best teams do end up in the finals now, which makes it much harder for a team to even retain a title.'
Rebel stalwart Séan Óg Ó hAilpín was, however, quick to mark his commitment to the cause.
'We just have to regroup, we're not going to let the last couple of years stop today, we're just gonna drive on,' he stated firmly.
He added: 'I don't know who's staying on or who's not, but whoever's staying on they'll give it a good rattle next year.'