Was the Desert T20 campaign a case for optimism or one for wailing and gnashing of teeth? I suppose it depends on whether you are a glass half full or half empty kind of person?
The tournament started in all-too familiar vein for the Irish. Batsmen struggling to post little more than a run a ball, and a defeat. Deja vu all over again!
A narrow win against Namibia was followed by a more dynamic performance against hosts UAE - there seemed to be a different mind-set in the Irish camp.
Having failed to hit any sixes in their first two matches, they blitzed 8 in the win over UAE, and in the semi-final trouncing over Scotland managed to go one better, clearing the ropes nine times.
That positive barn-storming batting blitz proved to be their undoing in the final demolition by Afghanistan, but at least the intent was there for all to see - even if it back-fired spectacularly.
The two most important stats in T20 cricket are (IMHO) strike rates for the batsmen, and economy rates for the bowlers.
Too many of the Irish batters in recent times struggled to even reach 100, but in this tournament, they finally seemed to come out of their shell.
Gary Wilson's 155 runs came at an impressive 156.57, while late call-up Stuart Poynter gave us glimpses of his undoubted potential with 108 runs at 144.
Ireland's two best players in the format over the past years have been Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien, and they too were to the fore. Stirling hitting 152 runs at 128.81, with O'Brien just behind at 126.74.
Skipper William Porterfield had a tournament to forget with the bat at number three, managing just 34 runs in his five innings, while Greg Thompson and Andy McBrine both didn't manage to get their strike rates up to above an acceptable level - although McBrine did come good striking the crucial match winning boundaries against Namibia.
The late middle order isn't the easiest place to bat in T20 cricket, with no time to settle. I'm sure both will get more confident with greater exposure to the format.
The bowling department saw Jacob Mulder emerge as the tournament's leading wicket taker - ten wickets at an average of 10 and a superb economy rate of 5.67.
The variety that he brings to the Irish attack is a most welcome one - the first leg-spinner since Greg Thompson over a decade ago. He will of course bowl the occasional full-toss and long hop - but then again, what leg-spinner in history hasn't?
The other big positive was the return to form of George Dockrell, who took five wickets with an economy rate of 6.67. That is good news for Ireland with a huge season ahead.
Boyd Rankin was at his hostile best in the win against Scotland, and that too augurs well for the Irish in 2017.
Josh Little has promise and the fact that he is the first left-arm paceman since Phil Eaglestone last played in 2011 is another cause for celebration. He has a good bouncer and slower ball in his armoury so is definitely one to watch.
Craig Young bowled well in the group stages but was expensive in the finals day, while Kevin O'Brien also went for over 8 an over but did pick up five wickets.
Reports that the Irish fielding was close to its best in recent times is to be welcomed too - such a crucial discipline in the shortest format.
The high of the semi-final win was quickly followed by the low of the dismantlement of the final.
The truth of the Irish team in T20 cricket is somewhere in-between.
Hopefully the Desert T20 tournament will have a permanent place in the cricketing calendar, with the addition of a few Full members too.
Only by playing more and more games of T20 will the Irish search for the perfect team formula be accomplished. There are only so many things you can do in training grounds - no substitute for actual game time.
IRELAND DESERT T20 AVERAGES