5.40pm: There we go, the champagne corks pop for one last time on this monumental English summer! Essex are champions again... And they've got another cardboard cutout to help with the celebrations, this time of absent Aussie Peter Siddle. Nice work. That's a wrap from us, as well. Thanks for joining us on the ride - in the words of Vinnie Jones, "It's been emotional." From myself, Matt and Miller, as well as everyone else who has contributed over the last few months, it's goodbye for now. Cheerio!
5.35pm: Time to hear from the captains, starting with Tom Abell: "Obviously went right down to the wire. We gave ourselves a chance this evening but it wasn't meant to be. The supporters have been phenomenal and the atmosphere when we got the ten [first-innings] wickets was amazing. Over a Championship the best team will often prevail, so congratulations to Ryan and Essex. I don't think words can do justice to what Tres means to our team and Somerset as a whole. He's a great player and more importantly a great person as well."
And Essex's Ryan ten Doeschate: "It's been crazy, a lot going around my head. Before we start, can I say Marcus Trescothick, he's been an ambassador for county cricket, he's been great for the game and everyone at Essex wishes him well. T20 was obviously special, we knew it would be a massive battle. We got a bit lucky with the weather and the boys fought so hard, but to come up with two trophies is incredible. You plan your resources but it's very difficult, very taxing to win in two formats. We really cherish these moments, they are few and far between."
A word with (Sir) Alastair Cook: "Bit of an odd 48 hours, with the weather around. We had to decide whether to stick or gamble. But an unbelievable win for our guys. When I got out I thought I was going to bat again. It was tough, tough to start against spin on that. It's about the guys as a proper Essex unit, we enjoy playing cricket together and we've had some success. It's been a privilege to be part of it and that's why I carried on."
That's it, they've shaken hands, and Essex are champions again! Somerset gave it their all but knew the miracle was beyond them... Cook punches the air, cheers and hugs on the Essex balcony, they've completed an extraordinary double over the last few days, the first county to win T20 and Championship titles in the same year. There's honour in the draw for Somerset, who are led off by Marcus Trescothick in his final appearance as a professional. We had some drama but got the expected result in the end; Ryan ten Doeschate and his players head down on to the outfield to receive the Championship trophy for the second time in three years.
"RE Tim Spencer's comment earlier, Essex have two of top 10 run scorers in Div 1 this season," chirps Mike Spencer. "That's Michelin rating. (Yes, Tim's brother keeping Eagle eye out, too)"
Abhijato's back, too: "Be it the World Cup finale, the Edgbaston heroics, the T20 Finals Day Mayhem, or any of the other classic moments in between, we were blessed to have lived through this summer. Godspeed, memories made here, see you down the road for years to come :)"
"May I ask a question? I am new to county cricket can you explain me why somerset forfeit without fearing of lose??" Because a draw was as good as a loss for them, rayyan javed. They to be prepared to lose in order to win, as a certain SK Warne likes to say
That Bess appeal against Cook was pad first, by the way... Umpire's call on impact, so would have been a tight one, either way
Time for maybe three or four more overs? Van der Merwe continues
Are we in for some more EPIC madness?? Out comes Tom Westley, 25 needed to win, 15 minutes officially left in the day
Somerset's title might be slipping away... but here's a final chance to farewell Marcus Trescothick, who's coming on in his whites as a sub fielder! Huge applause around the ground. He's donning a helmet, too, down on his knees at gully!
"Tendo's dismissal -- see your comment at 12.6 -- was plainly strategic -- designed to make Somerset think they had a chance, when in fact..." Genius. Never doubted him for a moment, Simon Lewis
Still around 20 mins left in the day. Somerset needing a(nother) spark of magic here