Staffordshire's hopes of MCCA Trophy glory wilted in the Bournemouth sunshine as they suffered an embarrassing seven-wicket semi-final defeat to Dorset.
Despite having picked a strong batting lineup, Staffs missed out on a trip to Lord's next month after being bowled out for just 95 at Dean Park. Paceman Matt Metcalfe did the damage, taking the astonishing figures of five wickets for nine in his ten overs before Dorset reached the target for the loss of just three wickets.
After Staffs won the toss, it all started to go wrong when Metcalfe struck in his first over before claiming two wickets in successive balls in his next.
And, despite veteran Kim Barnett hanging around to make 22 and a few late blows from Iain Carr, who top-scored with 26, it became a procession of wickets as batting remained a constant struggle on an admittedly far from suitable track.
Staffs had a slight glimmer of hope when Carr struck twice in as many balls to reduce the home side to 14 for two. But they could only manage one more wicket as Dorset got home with more than 22 overs to spare.
Dorset now meet Northumberland in the Lord's final on August 16, while Staffs must now concentrate instead on protecting their 100 per cent winning record in the Minor Counties Championship next weekend when they play host to Buckinghamshire at Longton. ..SUPL: