Gloucestershire finish with a flourish
Gloucestershire 179 (Payne 54, Claydon 5-61) and 432 (A Gidman 140, Tavare 105, Griffiths 6-63, Claydon 4-90) beat Kent 164 (Billings 73) and 203 (Northeast 62, Smith 4-35) by 244 runs
Gloucestershire finished their County Championship season on a high and denied Kent the chance of a potential fourth-placed Division Two finish when they cruised to an emphatic 244-run win with two sessions to spare in Canterbury.
The visitors dismissed Kent for 203, mopping up their final five wickets inside a session for only 32 runs to inflict a sixth defeat on the injury-hit hosts and bank 19 points for their victory.
Kent, having dominated the opening session of the match to have Gloucestershire reeling on 62 for 8, lost every session thereafter to glean a meagre three points from a miserable final game of the summer.
Already in trouble going into the last day on an overnight score of 95 for 4 and in pursuit of an unlikely victory target of 438, Kent performed more admirably at first as Darren Stevens and acting skipper Sam Northeast dug in.
The fifth-wicket partners looked untroubled in adding 98 in 28.1 overs until Stevens, three short of a half-century that would probably have made sure of his winning the PCA's £10,000 first prize for winning the FTI-sponsored Most Valuable Player of the Season award, promptly got himself out.
Leaning back to cut the seemingly innocuous slow left-arm spin of Tom Smith, he simply steered a catch to Hamish Marshall and, after pausing in a moment of disbelief, sloped off shaking his head.
Northeast, fresh from centuries in his last three Championship games against Essex, Glamorgan and Hampshire, continued to look in prime form as he posted his fifth half-century of the summer from 98 balls and with seven fours.
He lost his sixth-wicket partner Calum Haggett just before the scheduled lunch break, however, when the left-hander turned a bat-pad catch to short leg to give Smith his second scalp of the session.
Northeast's purple patch came to an end four overs later when, in attempting to leg glance Liam Norwell's second ball of the day, he found an unlucky inside edge through to Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick.
In his next over Norwell uprooted the off stump of Mitch Claydon and, with Kent staring down the barrel of defeat on 187 for 8, delayed the lunch break.
Tail-ender David Griffiths, having taken career-best bowling performance of 6 for 63 on the third day, blotted his copybook with a wild slog across the line to lose his off stump.
Then Gloucestershire duly wrapped up their fourth win of the campaign when James Tredwell chipped meekly to wide mid-on to give Smith slightly flattering figures of 4 for 35.
Kent ended the season lying sixth in the second tier, while Gloucestershire finish seventh.