Even the weather was doing the double on Friday evening at Chelmsford, as the great and good of Essex County Cricket Club braved the autumnal downpours at the County Ground, to don their glad-rags and celebrate the end of a truly remarkable season.

"We love the rain now!" joked Ryan ten Doeschate, Essex's captain, whose team had been so indebted to four days of dampness in Taunton this week, and the appearance of a double rainbow over the Hayes Close End seemed to confirm that the feeling was mutual.

For in fraught scenes on the final afternoon of the season, Essex were required to stand firm against Somerset's spinners to seal the draw that kept their nearest challengers at arm's length in the race for the County Championship.

And it meant that, as they boarded the team bus for a long and boozy journey back from the West Country, they were finally able to celebrate the first of their week's twin triumphs as well, having clinched their maiden T20 Blast title in an epic final against Worcestershire on Saturday evening.

"Yeah, we gave it a little nudge on Saturday night, because that was a very rare occasion for the club, and after all the hard work that goes in, it is important to celebrate that success," ten Doeschate told ESPNcricinfo. "But after that week in Taunton, it's just starting to sink in now. The boys deserve to enjoy the occasion."

"Sometimes, getting to the latter stages of the white-ball stuff is all you can do, then you just throw your name in the hat and have a crack at it," he added. "But the resolve was there this year to change the mindset, to say we are going to focus on white-ball but still drive the red-ball as well. It was a bit of a fairytale, the way the white-ball stuff came together, but the combination of hard work and good luck has resulted in two trophies."

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There were a fair few sore heads lining up for Essex's end-of-season awards night, the captain not least among them, as he pressed on for as long as his 39 years could carry him with a couple of fellow veterans for company in the small hours.

"I woke up in my whites," he admitted. "We sat on the outfield for a couple more hours [after returning from Taunton], had a few more beers, then tucked into the changing room towards the end.

"It was nice to wake up in the coach's office with Alastair Cook on my left shoulder and Tom Westley on my right, the three older guys who couldn't slug it out all the way to the end. It was quite amazing, there was no need to go to a nightclub or a bar, just to be around with the guys who you've fought with all year is a very special time."

"We knew the wicket was going to be horrendous, but we didn't know quite how bad"
Ryan ten Doeschate

That fighting extended right into the final afternoon of the season, as Somerset clawed desperately against their destiny in the Championship decider, claiming six wickets in 32 balls on the final afternoon, before forfeiting their second innings to leave Essex a dicey hour for survival.

"It was a weird one," Ten Doeschate admitted. "The weather kept pushing us back time-wise, and I felt by the latter stage of day three, we'd done enough.

"We knew the wicket was going to be horrendous but we didn't know quite how bad, and the fact they were bowling spin throughout meant they raced through the overs, and you literally felt that every ball was a challenge, you could get out every single ball."

Fortunately for Essex, they had in their ranks a man whose mighty performances at venues at far-flung as Abu Dhabi and Ahmedabad might have been a dry-run for the rearguard he was now being asked to perform. Alastair Cook's twin innings of 53 and 30 not out might not look like much in the grander scheme of the summer, but such knowhow at key moments of the campaign ultimately made the difference for the champions.

"The nerves were pretty high but when you've got a seasoned pro like Alastair Cook, who's won the Ashes and series in India, he's really played against the best," said ten Doeschate. "Even so, when he's worried about the wicket, you know what you are up against. But Browny [Nick Browne] and Cooky, and Tommy [Westley] through the middle session yesterday, nullified that threat. I know it was close towards the end but I never felt they would bowl us out in even half a session."

The strength of purpose that delivered Essex's second Championship pennant in three seasons wasn't entirely replicated in their extraordinary (and improbable) run to the T20 Blast title, although it ultimately came down to a similar strength of character, with Simon Harmer's heroics with bat and ball on Finals Day replicating his incredible dominance in Championship cricket, and Ravi Bopara rolling back the years with a string of performances that only a man of his experience could have compiled.

"Harmy's led the attack," said ten Doeschate, "which you don't often say about a spinner, even on non-turning wickets. He's the first you turn to when it gets shaky, and he delivers every time.

"He loves being in the fight, he walks the walk and talks the talk, and that's the special thing about him. He always wants the ball, he's always leading by example, and he's just a fantastic spinner. Firstly there's the skill he has, his control and ability to change the pace, and then he reads the situation so well. It's been special being out there with him for the last three years."

As for Bopara, his frustration at being asked to perform an unfamiliar finisher's role in the T20 campaign was an open secret, but without him at No. 6 there would have been no white-ball miracle, as Essex battled back from winning just two of their first ten matches (including wash-outs) to cap their campaign with five straight wins, and seven out of eight including a tie against Hampshire.

There was a valedictory air to Bopara's heroics in the final, as he resuscitated the chase with 36 not out from 22 balls before being invited by Harmer, the white-ball captain, to share the honours when lifting the trophy. But despite continued uncertainty about his status at a club for whom he made his first-class debut as a 17-year-old in 2002, ten Doeschate had his fingers crossed that the end was not nigh.

"I certainly hope not," he said. "Ravi has been here longer than anyone - he certainly signed before Cooky and myself - and he's phenomenal around the changing room. In the last six or seven games in the T20 he's shown just how good he is.

"We've asked him to do different roles which he hasn't always bought into, but as soon as he did it, he showed he's one of the best finishers in the world and a decent bowler too. Fingers crossed, we can keep him here, because the numbers are one thing, but at the sharp end, the true mark of a player is the times they step up.

"For him to deliver in six must-win games in a row, particularly the 70 off 39 at The Oval, the quarter-final at Lancashire and in both finals, he was able to show calmness in those situations because he's done it so many times before. Harmy's the figurehead for the red ball but I'd say the same for Ravi in the white-ball stuff."

But time waits for no man, even at a club where the trophies are starting to roll in, and ten Doeschate himself recognised that the county's second Championship in three seasons might well have to mark a watershed as the team uses the experience gleaned from such a run of success to build for the future.

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"There's a lot of wise heads who've played a lot of cricket in our dressing room," said ten Doeschate. "But then you mix that up with guys like Dan Lawrence, Sam Cook, Aaron Beard, who go for it with carefree, youthful exuberance. Sometimes we have to slow the younger guys down a bit, but sometimes they give us the lift to fight against ridiculous odds, which hasn't always been the case at Essex.

"It's very lucky that this success has been so heavily loaded towards the back end of my career," he added. "I've loved playing for the club, I love the lads so much, and it's been a real honour to lead the team for the last four years. But I think need to take stock for the next week or two, take guidance from guys like Graham Gooch, Keith Fletcher and Ronnie Irani.

"I want to keep playing but I am deeply aware there's a time to move on, and with young players coming through, the No. 6 position is a good place to blood people. So we will take stock this week. There's no rush to make a decision."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @miller_cricket