Derbyshire defeated Warwickshire by nine runs
Warwickshire snatched defeat from the jaws of victory to condemn themselves to a place among the also-rans in the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy.
They deserve no better. A limp, lame and lacklustre display of one-day cricket culminated in a gormless collapse as Warwickshire lost five wickets for 26 runs in five overs.
Derbyshire bowled beautifully in that last session and deserve great credit for the win, but the failure of any Warwickshire player to take responsibility for the situation was the defining reason for this result.
"Nobody put their hand up," director of cricket, Mark Greatbatch told The Post. "That was a gettable total. We had the opportunity, but didn't play intelligent cricket.
"There were several easy outs. We had four stands in our innings where we should have nailed this game, but somehow managed not to win. We just needed someone to stay with Ian Bell.
"We've got good players and good characters in our dressing room but, at the moment, we're not executing the one-day disciplines and we need to improve."
Warwickshire have now been defeated three times in a row in the C&G and four times in their last five games in all competitions. Defeats to Leicestershire, Durham and Derbyshire - hardly the powerhouses of county cricket - suggest that something is far from right with a side that contested the final last year.
The situation may not quite have reached crisis point, but it is fair to suggest it is the first real test of the Greatbatch-Streak regime.
Warwickshire's early exit also highlights the absurdities of the competition's new format. The team still have five more games to play - three of them at home - yet have next to nothing left to play for. Hardly mouth-watering fixtures, are they?
At 171 for five with six overs to go, Warwickshire appeared to be cruising. Ian Bell (117 balls, six fours), playing the calm role that England's selectors would delight in, was in control. Pacing his innings expertly, he had reached his competition-best and should have been able to see his side over the finishing line.
Warwickshire required a run a ball. Had they held their nerve, victory was there for the taking. Instead, they showed poor shot selection and an inability to stay calm under pressure.
Dougie Brown was bowled attempting to thrash back over the bowler's head and Michael Powell by a fast yorker off the next delivery.
Panic seized Warwickshire. Moeen Ali betrayed his inexperience in perishing to an unnecessary heave before Mo Sheikh spotted Bell shaping for the sweep and bowled a slower delivery that spooned up off the face of the bat.
Finally, with ten runs required from the last over, Tony Frost was smartly stumped down the legside and Warwickshire's fate was sealed.
Bell had struggled for partners from the start. With Neil Carter holing out early and Nick Knight's footless drive resulting in an inside edge to the wicketkeeper, Warwick-shire's middle-order had ample opportunity to prove their worth.
Yet after flourishing brief-ly, each of them played a significant part in their own downfall. Jonathan Trott was caught down the legside, Jim Troughton missed a completely unnecessary reverse sweep and Alex Loudon chipped back to the bowler.
There will be some Warwickshire supporters who take consolation from the fact that two former players were key to Derbyshire's victory.
Graeme Welch has clearly generated a superb team spirit at Derbyshire and batted as well as anyone. Despite the fact that many of his squad are journeymen cricketers rejected by other counties, they revel in each other's successes and are worth more than the sum of their parts.
Sheikh was also impressive. He produced a master-class in bowling 'at the death'. His control and variations of pace were superb, while Steffan Jones, bowling fast and straight, richly deserved his third five-wicket haul in the competition.
Earlier, Warwickshire had pulled things back after another disappointing start in the field. Brown and Heath Streak conceded 20 each in their first couple of overs, but the introduction of Carter slowed the rate considerably.
Derbyshire, perhaps trying too hard to force the pace on another sluggish pitch, lost four for 23 in six overs as their batsmen succumbed to a succession of ambitious strokes.
Steve Stubbings fell to Carter's third ball, uppercutting to third man, Michael Di Venuto was struck on the boot by a Streak yorker and Chris Taylor slogged to midoff. When Ant Botha nibbled at one outside his off stump, it left the visitors on 64 for four and precariously placed.
Welch and Travis Birt arrested the decline. They put on 94 in 20 overs, with Welch slog-sweeping a four and six off Troughton and Birt driving another off Brown.
Warwickshire's spinners performed well. Alex Loudon, Troughton and debutant Moeeni took five wickets between them for just 70 runs from their 24 overs, with Loudon not conceding a boundary in his ten overs.
Yet when Birt fell in trying to run Troughton down to third man, the tail folded meekly and only 19 runs were added in the final spell after the 40th over. It should not have been a match-winning total.
This loss should act as a wake-up call to Warwick-shire. There can be no more excuses, no hiding behind injuries or lost tosses.
They boast far better facilities and greater spending power than most of their competitors, yet have failed to translate that into results.
They have appeared lethargic in the field, toothless with the ball and irresponsible with the bat.
More worryingly, Derbyshire also looked a much more cohesive and happier unit.