Sarah Taylor hit a wonderful hundred as Sussex Women wrapped up their sixth County Championship in 10 years following a comfortable 95-run win over Yorkshire.
Still smarting from their Twenty20 finals day defeat to Kent just a week earlier, the south coast outfit needed to regroup for their championship play-off with Yorkshire who were hoping to end the Sussex-Kent monopoly which has dominated the championship for a decade.
Sussex endured a difficult start with the bat and were soon 22 for two from nine overs with Georgia Adams and Hannah Phelps both dismissed early.
But the England pair of Taylor, captaining Sussex, and Arran Brindle, started to rebuild and put on 41 before the latter was caught behind.
Holly Colvin then added a quick 18 but it was not until 16-year-old Izzy Collis arrived at the crease that Sussex put together a substantial partnership.
Taylor, who helped England win the Women’s Ashes this summer, typically played shots all round the ground, reaching her hundred in the 46th over with a four through the covers. It was her fourth century for Sussex and one of her best.
Collis was also raising her bat moments later having reached her first senior half-century, passing the milestone in style by pulling a ball for six.
After 50 overs Sussex had reached their biggest total of the season - 242 for four - with Taylor unbeaten on 128 and Collis on 51. Their fruitful partnership was worth 143.
Sussex made the perfect start with the ball when opening bowler Izi Noakes struck in the first over, taking the wicket of England batsman Lauren Winfield with a catch behind by Taylor.
Noakes struck again, somewhat fortuitously, when she got a touch on a ball hit back at her that crashed into the stumps at the non-striker’s end to run out Watson.
Brindle took a wicket in her first over with Alexia Walker, who played with a broken finger she sustained in the Twenty20 final, taking a high catch at mid-on.
Chiara Green got in on the act to take a wicket, Adams holding the catch at cover, before England spinner Colvin claimed two quick wickets to leave Yorkshire 109 for six from 27 overs.
Collis, having a fine day, was then involved in two run-outs and a third wicket from Colvin left Sussex on the brink of victory.
They did not have to wait long as another run-out sparked celebrations by the Sussex fielders.
Sussex Women’s Coach, Charlotte Burton, was thrilled with the victory.
“We saved our best performance for the end,” she said.
“The players have played extremely well all season and every single player has put in performances throughout the season. It was a great innings by Taylor and Collis to put us in a good position and then everyone topped it off in the field and with the ball.
“I am very proud of the players - we have a great team and to come back fighting after last week’s Twenty20 loss showed we have tremendous strength and character within our squad.”