Nicole Owens took great joy in watching the Dublin senior footballers seal a remarkable third consecutive All-Ireland Football title, despite being forced to watch the historic win from the sidelines.
Mick Bohan’s side were 2-3 to 0-4 winners in front of a record 56,114 attendance at Croke Park on Sunday.
The Blues forward pocketed her third All-Ireland medal since making her intercounty debut against Cork in 2012 but she knows only too well what it is like to go through the agony of defeat.
Owens suffered the heartbreak of a very different three-in-a-row as the Girls in Blue lost the 2014, 2015 & 2016 finals, all against Cork.
"It is funny because I was around for the three before that we lost," said Owens. "At one point I didn’t think I would even get one.
"It has been great to see the momentum shift, and this team grow and mature. It is something I couldn’t have conceived in 2016 when we had just lost our third in a row."
The St Sylvesters club woman expects to be back in time for next year’s TG4 Championship campaign as she continues her recovery from surgery to a ruptured ACL in her right knee.
She departed injured against Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final but the 26-year-old did most of the damage prior to Dublin’s round robin victory over Monaghan on 27 July.
"It is a crappy injury and something that is a bit more prevalent these days," said Owens.
"It needs rehab now. The work will get done in the pre-season and I am hoping to be back on the pitch for championship next season.
"It was tough for me but the same as anyone who didn’t get on the final and would have hoped to. We have had a few bad injuries.
"We would have loved to win and obviously I would have loved to have been involved but I did as much as I could from the sideline and the girls did the job on the pitch."