The dust has settled on the Irish Under 19 World campaign and with the team currently en route back to Dublin from New Zealand, we take a look at how the campaign will be remembered.
On the face of it, 13th place looks very disappointing, especially as it means the next group will be forced to go through the Russian Roulette of a qualifying tournament alongside Celtic rivals Scotland in 2019.
That of course doesn't tell the whole story of a squad which dug deep to pull off incredible come-back wins over Scotland (twice) to get to New Zealand, and once there performed admirably, one aberration apart.
There's no doubting that the team went into the competition seriously hamstrung by the lack of match practice. Three of their four scheduled warm-up games fell foul of the weather meaning they began the competition having played just one match outdoors since the end of July.
Contrast their preparation with that of their peers who all played at least one series ahead of the tournament. Ireland may now be a Full Member but there's no doubt their build-up was seriously amateurish.
This is of course no fault of the players or support staff. The 'B' word was bandied about - budget - as an excuse for the severe lack of tours. That cuts no ice when stories emerge of a consultancy report costing 90k! Even if the Chinese Whispers mean this is an exaggerated figure, surely it would have been far better spent of the future stars rather than gathering dust in a boardroom.
Back to the cricket and an indication of the standard required was given by England in a warm-up match as the bowlers were given a harsh dose of reality as they were dispatched to all parts of the ground. Josh Little (3-50) escaped the carnage and credit to him and Harry Tector who made a brilliant hundred, alongside a thumping 55 from Little.
The tournament proper came with Ireland scoring 207, losing their way after Jamie Grassi gave them a super start with Mark Donegan. Aaron Cawley gave the Irish early hope but Sri Lanka coasted to a 7-wicket win.
The next match against Pakistan was x-rated as the Irish wilted under a bouncer barrage. The video highlights were watched through fingers in front of the eyes or behind the sofa, similar to when I first saw the Daleks threatening Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker for the first time.
Ireland were skittled for 97 runs in a car-crash of an innings, which got worse as Pakistan disdainfully chased the meagre target in just 43 balls.
If that match was the nadir then the next was the zenith as the Boys In Green showed remarkable character and resilience to bounce back and beat eventual semi-finalists Afghanistan.
Six of the top eight chipped in as they posted 225 which was just enough as Harry Tector's three wickets led them to a nail-biting four-run win.
Several journalists were sceptical of the victory, questioning Afghanistan's tactics and pointing out Ireland's pre-match odds of 9 to 1. One hopes that it was a case of an already-qualified side resting key players and taking opponents lightly rather than anything more sinister.
Onto the plate and Ireland lost what was arguably their most important match of the competition against West Indies.
Neil Rock's brilliant 91 and Harry Tector's 69 saw Ireland to a very healthy 255. It could and perhaps should have been enough but fielding lapses were to prove disastrous and a four-wicket defeat condemned the next generation to a qualifying tournament in the next cycle.
JJ Garth and Harry Tector shared seven wickets as they beat PNG in a turgid affair, Neil Rock again showing his class with a top score of 43.
The Irish finished the competition on a high beating Namibia by 102 runs with Tector's century the highlight in a convincing all-round display.
Who will go to senior recognition from this squad? There's never going to be a double digit representation but you would hope for at least 3 or four to make the step up.
Rock has shades of a young Eoin Morgan, while Tector has a steely all-round ability reminiscent of Kyle McCallan.
Josh Little of course has already senior caps to his name and his hard-hitting down the order coupled with left-arm pace suggest he won't be too far from adding to that collection - the T20 avenue seems ripe for his undoubted talent.
T20 seems the best hope for Jamie Grassi and the others too, at least in the short-term.
Let us hope the squad are given the chance to show their wares on the inter-provincial and senior stage.
A word of caution though for the squad who may feel the door will be opened wide. Little remains one of only two of the 2016 World Cup squad with senior honours, Lorcan Tucker the other.
Indeed, while about half of the squad have played interpro cricket, none have really set the competition on fire, aside from Adam Dennison's memorable double hundred.
For these youngsters, while there have never been more opportunities, the hard work is just beginning.