Surrey finally broke the resistance of Nic Pothas to complete an innings and 37-run victory, puncturing Hampshire's title aspirations and consigning Worcestershire to relegation from Division One of the LV County Championship.
On the back of 14 wickets in the match between their two spinners Chris Schofield and Harbhajan Singh at the Rose Bowl, Surrey appeared set to make short work of their hosts and move from eighth to sixth.
But stand-in Hampshire captain Pothas (92) had other ideas and found a sturdy ally in tail-ender David Griffiths for a ninth-wicket stand of 99 as Mark Butcher turned from Plan A to B and beyond twice over.
The last hour was beckoning by the time Surrey did manage to prise out Pothas - via an lbw from Matt Nicholson, clearly not to the batsman's liking - and when last man James Bruce followed, a victory which had gone from inevitable to merely probable was at last in the book.
Because of it, bottom club Worcestershire can no longer catch anyone other than Kent and are therefore certain to be one of the two teams to go down.