Worcestershire Seconds suffered Trophy heartbreak as they went down by one wicket in the final over against Lancashire Seconds at Neston today.
Half centuries from George Rhodes and Ross Whiteley propelled Worcestershire to 275 all out after they had been put into bat.
They also obtained several promising positions during the Lancashire innings trying to defend the total with Alex Hepburn following up his 47 with four wickets.
But the home side edged home by the narrowest of margins with five balls to spare.
It means that Lancashire top the North Group and qualify along with Yorkshire while Worcestershire finish third and miss out on a semi-final spot by the narrowest of margins.
But although disappointed not to go into the knockout stages, the Seconds can take plenty of positives from their performances in the 50 over competition.
They won their opening four games against Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and MCC Young Cricketers and played some exciting cricket.
Even the two games they lost – to Durham by eight runs and Lancashire today – went right to the wire and were decided by the finest of margins.
It is a massive improvement on last season when Worcestershire failed to win a single Trophy game and the side has benefited from that extra year's experience and a growing maturity.
Rhodes got the Worcestershire innings off to a flying start with 62 off 58 balls with 10 fours before he was third out at 97 in the 19th over.
Then Whiteley – 55 off 51 balls with three sixes and five fours – and Hepburn added 77 in 13 overs for the fourth wicket.
Zen Malik then gave the innings a late order boost with 44 off 37 balls with one six and four fours.
Hepburn removed the openers and then Ben Twohig weighed in with two wickets including Luke Procter (67) who was fifth out at 148 in the 34th over.
Brooke Guest 62) kept Lancashire in contention before he was dismissed at 225-7.
Hepburn returned and picked up a fourth wicket with the scores level but Arron Lilley (25 not out) saw Lancashire home off the first ball of the final over from Malik.
G Rhodes c KR Brown b M Parkinson 62
O Westbury c C Turner b TJ Lester 7
A Kervezee b LA Procter 11
A Hepburn lbw b JJ Bohannon 47
R Whiteley c KR Brown b JJ Bohannon 55
J Dell lbw b AM Lilley 6
A Milton b DJ Lamb 16
Z Malik c LA Procter b TJ Lester 44
B Twohig c DJ Lamb b TJ Lester 9
C Dudley c JJ Bohannon b DJ Lamb 2
P Brown not out 0
Total (all out) 275 in 49.1 overs.
FOW: 47, 75, 97, 174, 204, 206, 248, 265, 275. 275.
DJ Lamb 9-0-59-2
TJ Lester 5.1-0-42-3
LA Procter 10-2-40-1
M Parkinson 10-0-48-1
AM Lilley 10-0-53-1
JJ Bohannon 5-0-32-2
KR Brown c A Milton† b A Hepburn 0
C Turner c P Brown b A Hepburn 19
LA Procter lbw b B Twohig 67
RP Jones run out (B Twohig) 19
JJ Bohannon lbw b B Twohig 9
BD Guest† c B Twohig b Z Malik 62
DJ Lamb c J Dell b Z Malik 24
F Shafiq b A Hepburn 20
AM Lilley not out 25
TJ Lester b A Hepburn 16
M Parkinson not out 0
Total (9 wickets) 276 in 49.1 overs
FOW: 0, 32, 80, 97, 148, 204, 225, 239, 275.
A Hepburn 10-0-56-4
P Brown 7-0-41-0
A Kervezee 7-0-25-0
G Rhodes 8-0-50-0