England Women’s Under-17s’ Euro dreams were crushed following a 5-0 defeat by reigning champions Germany.
But tournament top scorer Stefanie Sanders plundered four goals as Germany overtook the Young Lionesses to finish as group runners-up behind Spain.
England 0-5 Germany
UEFA Women's U17 Championship finals
Sunday 28 June
Tanja Pawollek gave Anouschka Bernhard’s charges an early lead and the holders, and four-time winners, never looked back.
Griffiths said: “It's a massive disappointment but credit to the Germans – that's why they've won it as many times as they have.
“It's a lesson for the players and the staff and it's been a privilege to be at this tournament – a massive experience for the girls.
“We came to win today and we had a plan but it's difficult against players of that calibre. The girls worked incredibly hard and I think it's the scoreline that's the big disappointment rather than perhaps the loss itself.
“It's a great experience, though, because for anyone to play at the highest level you have to be prepared to face defeats; while we don't like conceding like that, it's a lesson for the girls.
“It's been a 12-month journey and I'm incredibly proud of these players.”
England: 13 Sandy MacIver (Everton), 3 Mayumi Pacheco (Liverpool), 4 Chloe Peplow (Birmingham City), 5 Grace Fisk (Millwall & Lewisham), 6 Megan Finnigan (Everton), 9 Chloe Kelly (captain; Arsenal), 10 Georgia Allen (Arsenal), 12 Danielle Brown (Teesside Sport), 16 Zoe Cross (Chelsea), 17 Ashleigh Plumptre (Notts County), 18 Rianna Dean (Arsenal)
Substitutes: 2 Serena Fletcher (Manchester United) for Kelly 41, 7 Charlotte Devlin (Arsenal) for Dean 64, 11 Megan Tinsley (Derby County) for Plumptre 77
Substitutes not used: 1 Sian Rogers (Birmingham City), 8 Rachel Hardy (Chelsea), 14 Mollie Rouse (Aston Villa), 15 Lucy Parker (Arsenal)
Head coach: John Griffiths
Referee: Barbara Bollenberg (AUT)