The heroes we needed, just when we needed them.
etween the lingering Covid-19 pandemic and the unsavoury scenes in Belfast across recent evenings, good news has seemed awfully thin on the ground after 12 months that have felt ever thus.
Step forward the Northern Ireland women's national team, who are now 90 minutes away away from a place at next year's Euro finals in England.
Yep, Northern Ireland at the Women's Euros.
It is ridiculous and yet thanks to this band of awe-inspiring, courageous, talented players, it's now very much a possibility.
Cast your mind back to May 16, 2019 when Kenny Shiels was unveiled as the new Northern Ireland women's manager.
It was an eye-catching appointment, as was the frank ambition freely stated in the opening interviews.
"There is a lot of work to do but I am convinced that I can help this group of players compete and push for qualification for major tournaments," said Shiels.
This was a team that had collected a combined total of 15 points across their last three qualifying campaigns. The most recent of those - for the 2019 World Cup - had seen Northern Ireland earn just three points, care of a win in Slovakia.
The ambition was there but for many, it was pie-in-the-sky thinking.
Fast forward not even two years, those are scoffing down a huge helping of humble pie and for Shiels' girls, the sky's the limit.
The impact this will have on the women's game across Northern Ireland, as has been pointed out since their four successive victories concluded the group campaign in December, cannot be overstated.
After the 2019 World Cup, in which England reached the semi-finals, Yougov research indicated that an impressive third of adults in the country considered themselves fans of the women's game, while as many as 69% of people suggested that it deserves as high a profile as men's football.
In fact, England's semi-final was watched by 11.7million people on TV, almost tripling the pre-tournament record for a women's match.
In the same year, the Irish FA released a new five-year development plan for women's football. Included in the goals was doubling the number of registered players to 3,200. A spot at the Euros with the attention surrounding it - which, by the way, must have been considered too lofty an ambition to be stated - and that, you would imagine, could be smashed into smithereens.
Then there's the current attendance record at a women's international - 4,200 for a game against Spain in 2017. If a third of adults in Northern Ireland developed even a passing interest in the game, then that figure, again, could surely be multiplied.
There is no telling what victory (and remember, anything down a 1-0 defeat will be shouted from the rooftops on Tuesday) would achieve in a wider sense.
And with the very narrowest of focuses, it's a very real prospect.
Of course, Ukraine are ranked 24th in the world and had won six of their last seven games before Northern Ireland rolled in. You'd fancy, in that light, they might up their game at Seaview.
But with the type of performances put in by Shiels side, Northern Ireland can upset the odds once again. Make no mistake about that. From the stout Ashley Hutton in central defence, through captain Marissa Callaghan in midfield to the busy, classy goal-scoring hero Simone Magill up top, this is a team packed with quality.
And then you add in Friday's leading performances. What about 19-year-old Linfield full-back Rebecca McKenna? A real contender for player of the match, constantly nipping ahead of her opponent during the hosts' late onslaught. Or her fellow Irish League star Kirsty McGuinness, marauding down the left wing to stretch the hosts' defence?
Forget the nay-sayers, Northern Ireland are good. Very good.
And they're now 90 minutes away from not just changing the game but blowing all perspective out of the water.
Just when we needed them.