DUBLIN manager, Dave Dunning, stood in the middle of the Edenderry GAA ground and joined in the applause as Westmeath were presented the National League Division 3 trophy.
He doffed his hat to Westmeath. "They grew into the game. They deserve credit. You sensed that they had the feeling it was going to be their day and they weren't going to slip up," said Dave.
They didn't. They brought such conviction to the stage. And they certainly weren't handing out the Butlers chocolate.
"We'll learn from this," added Dave. "We'll use it to our advantage for the rest of the season. The girls will come back stronger.
"One defeat doesn't make you a bad team overnight. It was our first defeat in six. Getting to the league final was a bonus.
"We just didn't perform on the day. That happens with teams. You have your good and bad days. You get some luck, you don't get luck. It just didn't happen for us."
Westmeath were more clinical in attack. Dave pointed to the opening chapter as being pivotal.
"We created the first few chances, but we didn't take them. When you get a couple of scores, it fills the team with confidence. We had a high enough wide count. But I can't fault the players for effort."