IT WAS a case of so near yet so far for Buckinghamshire ladies as they fell at the final hurdle at the AEGON Summer County Cup in Eastbourne.
After maintaining a fine unbeaten record to make it to the final, Hertfordshire proved just too strong to take the trophy for the second time in three years.
Hertfordshire went into the finale as slight favourites, but Bucks had no answer to their opponents, and their excellent run to the final looked to have taken its toll as the final was decided by a 5-0 scoreline.
Bucks captain Jemima Hayward acknowledged that Hertfordshire were just too strong.
"They outplayed us to be honest," she said. "We knew we needed to get a win under our belts early doors but couldn't quite manage it. After that it was an uphill struggle.
"But we've never won four matches in a row so to finish the week with only one defeat is brilliant. Hopefully we can come back next year and go one better."
To book their place in the final the Buckinghamshire side, made up of Lereesa Easterbrook, Celia Cornforth, Tor Pisani, Helen Lawson, Claire Hamilton and Kathryn Sharples, had turned on the style to overcome Middlesex 7-2, Surrey 6-3, Lancashire 5-4 and Hampshire & Isle of Wight 7-2.
But the final was a bridge too far as the team were unable to lift the cup for the first time.