Like winning a pair of slippers the day after having your legs amputated, there was little consolation in Warwickshire's victory yesterday.

True, they did pour cold water on the celebrations of their local rivals. But this victory came too late to save either their Division One status or the job of their director of cricket, Mark Greatbatch.

As one player remarked afterwards, the team could hardly remember the words of the victory song.

It was, after all, Warwickshire's first win at Edgbaston since June 26 and only their second success anywhere in 19 completed matches.

A season that ends with double relegation can only be considered an unmitigated failure. Those that still insist that the first part of the season went well should consider that the first 1,000 miles of Titanic's voyage went well enough; it didn't make the overall trip a success.

Still, Warwickshire did - at last - supply some cheer for their long-suffering supporters.

Forced to endure the endless - and understandable - crowing of the sizeable contingent of Worcestershire followers, the Bears showed some character in securing only their second win in the competition and their first since August 12.

An emphatic win it was, too. With seven wickets and almost 13 overs in hand, the game was an anti-climactic conclusion to Worcestershire's superb campaign.

In truth, however, there was a sense of 'after the gold rush' about this match. Worcestershire, with the trophy already secured, were clearly lacking in intensity and it would be wrong to read much into the result.

Warwickshire certainly played the best of the cricket, however. From the moment that Neil Carter struck three times in his opening spell, the Bears were always on top and raced to defeat courtesy of some elegant and polished batting.

Carter, allying pace and control, again showed his worth to the club that didn't want him only a few weeks ago. Moeen Ali was caught behind, slashing at a wide one, Gareth Batty was yorked and Stephen Moore edged his attempted cut to slip.

It could have been even worse for Worcestershire. Steven Davies was reprieved twice by Ian Westwood in the covers; a tough chance when the batsman had four and a much easier one when he has 39. In between times, Davies produced some sparking cover drives, taking full toll of a loose spell from Alfonso Thomas (four overs for 32).

The introduction of the impressive Tim Groenewald, who claimed the best List A figures of his career, increased the pressure, however. Davies chipped one back to the bowler, before Graeme Hick's drive was beaten by a full ball as Worcestershire slipped to 63 for five.

A stand of 71 in 16 overs at least gave Worcestershire some sort of foothold in the game. Daryl Mitchell (65 balls, one four and one six), with the first List A half-century of his career, lead the rebuilding operation. Though he played few memorable strokes, he kept the scoreboard ticking over and at least helped his side to the verges of respectability.

Mitchell drove Ant Botha for one six over extra-cover, but generally Worcestershire had to be content with picking up the odd single. Nick James - preferred to Alex Loudon as a bowler - and Heath Streak, maintained the pressure before Streak, in his last game before retirement, picked up the final wicket when Mitchell missed an uncharacteristic slog.

In reply, Carter took two fours and a six off Kabir Ali's poor first over, while Ian Westwood also looked in good touch with some pleasing strokes.

Though both fell to catches to men 'in the ring', Loudon plundered 18 off Kabir's final over before Jonathan Trott and Tim Ambrose ensured there was to be no mistake with an untroubled - and unbeaten - partnership of 73 to clinch the win and lift their side off the foot of the table.

Afterwards, at Warwickshire's somewhat surreal end-of-season reception, Tim Ambrose scooped most of the plaudits.

Firstly, he was presented with The Members' Player Of The Year award by someone who began their speech by admitting they knew little about cricket, before also winning the Junior Bears' Player Of The Year and the Players' Player Of The Year awards. Seamer Calum MacLeod won Most Improved Second XI Player award, as voted by the coaches.

The retiring Streak and Ashley Giles both accepted gifts and made heart-felt speeches about their love of the club while Warwickshire's chairman, Neil Houghton, made absolutely sure he did not over-excite anyone with a speech that propagated the myth that "it was a season of two halves".

For the record, Warwickshire's last championship win came in the first week of May. Deluded to the last, even double relegation has not brought reality home to the hierarchy of a club in crisis.