ELLIE Watton's eyes were so full of tears that a silver lining was always going to be hard to find after a heartbreaking defeat to Australia in the gold-medal match at the Commonwealth Games.
With only 11 seconds left on the clock in normal time, this young and inexperienced England women's hockey side were on the verge of a superb and quite remarkable victory.
Lily Owsley's strike had put them 1-0 up midway through the second-half and the whole team had defended as if their lives depended on it in the face of mounting pressure from the reigning champions.
But with almost the final play of the game the dam finally burst, Jodie Kenny firing home from a penalty corner to send the game to a shoot-out where the Aussies held their nerve to seal a 3-1 win.
Defeats do not come much more devastating than that, but at the start of this summer few would have given England a chance of a medal at these Games as they limped to an 11th place finish in the World Cup.
And while a tearful Watton admitted the positives were hard to find just at the moment, she insisted England would bounce back stronger for their experiences in Glasgow.
"Coming back from a 3-0 loss to them in the pool stages to draw 1-1 is great," said former Repton School pupil Watton, who had fellow ex-Repton school-mates Georgie Twigg and Susie Gilbert alongside her in the England squad.
"We played some fantastic hockey, we took our chances this time and we starved them of the ball and they found it very difficult so there are a lot of positives for this team.
"We have proved that we can compete with the very best and that gives us a lot of confidence.
"We had our strategies and our game plan and it worked perfectly, well almost perfectly. We performed it almost to a T."
Only two members of England's 16-woman squad in Glasgow – Alex Danson and skipper Kate Richardson-Walsh – are over 27.
And head coach Danny Kerry believes that his greenhorn troops will only get stronger from the heartbreak they suffered.
"Given the age of some of the kids running around in this team, they have got an enormous amount of positives to take from that," he said.
"We have just matched the team that have wiped everyone else off the park so I am chuffed to bits.
"At the moment, they are absolutely devastated. However, I think that when they wake up and look at their silver medals from the Commonwealth Games, they will be pretty pleased."
Commonwealth Games England (CGE) leads and manages the participation of the Team England at the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games. We work with sports, sponsors and Sport England to support the development of athletes and their sports, and to achieve success at Games time.