DUBLIN manager, Shane O'Brien, gathered up the positives from last Saturday's Championship defeat (3-13 to 1-10) to Kilkenny in Parnell Park.
As the rain began to fall, he stood on the Parnell Park sod and reflected on the hour.
"To be there or thereabouts," is encouraging," he said.
"But ultimately we are disappointed. We came here to win the game.
"We knew what we were up against. Kilkenny were the clear favourites. They were in last year's All-Ireland final.
"But we have come a long way in a short period of time. And we'd have to be proud of the effort the girls put in against such a top side."
Shane and his management team will now begin their preparations for the visit of Tipperary to Parnell Park on Saturday week, July 4 before travelling to Clare (July 11) and Derry (July 18).
Kilkenny boss, Fintan Deegan, was delighted to be heading back to the Nore with full points.
"We came up here for the win. We got it, so we'll drive on from here.
"We are happy to start the campaign with a victory. But now we can't look any further than our next game against Clare."