Somerset suffered disappointment despite securing a 22-run NatWest T20 Blast win over Middlesex Panthers at Taunton as events elsewhere deprived them of a quarter-final place.
Glamorgan's victory over Gloucestershire Gladiators at the SWALEC Stadium earned them the fourth and final qualifying place in the South Group, but at least Somerset went out on a high note after a largely frustrating campaign.
The hosts posted a healthy 183 for three after winning the toss, Nick Compton top-scoring with a polished 58, while Marcus Trescothick made 48 and Peter Trego hit 38 not out. Ravi Patel took all three wickets for 36 runs.
In reply, Middlesex were restricted to 161 for seven, John Simpson contributing 47, Dawid Malan a rapid 34 and Neil Dexter 33. Dirk Nannes claimed 3-28.
Somerset's total, surprisingly the highest in a T20 game at Taunton this season, was based on an opening stand of 102 in 12.2 overs between Compton and Trescothick, 54 of the runs coming in the six powerplay overs.
Compton outscored his partner, hitting two sixes and six fours in reaching a half-century off 33 balls.
50 up for Compo with his second 6! Then a delightful cut for 4 more! 100 comes up as well. 104 off 12
— Somerset Cricket (@SomersetCCC) July 25, 2014
For Trescothick, it was a welcome return to T20 form. His eight previous innings in the competition this season had seen him amass just 43 runs.
After a watchful start, the powerful left-hander was soon clubbing boundaries with his old zest and his 38-ball innings featured seven fours.
Both batsmen perished in the 12th over, bowled by left-arm spinner Patel. Compton was caught at short third-man attempting a reverse-sweep, while Trescothick was stumped two balls later off what would have been a leg-side wide.
Trego and Colin Ingram, whose 21 came off only 12 balls, maintained the momentum before James Hildreth came in to add two big sixes in his eight-ball cameo of 18.
At the end of the innings Trego had faced 26 balls, hitting three fours, and Somerset looked favourites.
But things were already going awry for them at Cardiff with Gloucestershire managing a miserly 108 for nine against Glamorgan.
Congratulations to Somerset on a 22 run victory. Well batted, Simmo, who ends unbeaten in 47. #middlesex150
— Middlesex Cricket (@Middlesex_CCC) July 25, 2014
Malan gave Middlesex a lighting start to their reply, crashing boundaries off the first five balls he received, but he lost partner Joe Denly to the first ball of the fourth over, caught at mid-on off Tim Groenewald for four.
It was 50 for one after the powerplay but Malan fell in the seventh over, caught behind by stand-in wicketkeeper Trescothick attempting to cut a short ball from Nannes.
Eoin Morgan was caught above his head by the stretching Trecscothick off Nannes for 18 in the ninth over and the next ball saw the 38-year-old keeper dive full length to his right to dismiss Ryan Higgins.
From then on it was a lost cause for Middlesex, who ended up with just two wins from their 14 South Division fixtures, losing 11.
A spirited stand of 57 in 6.4 overs for the sixth wicket between Simpson and Dexter was too little too late as the visitors fell short.
Somerset batsman Compton said: "We didn't deserve to reach the quarter-finals.
"All the ingredients are there to be successful at T20, but for whatever reason we haven't played well enough this year."
Middlesex head coach Richard Scott said: "We just couldn't get going in the competition and there are no excuses.
"We just weren't good enough. But in recent games there have been plenty of positive signs for the future."