A trip to the Rose Bowl was to view a county that had successfully modelled itself into a modern professional club and gave Gloucestershire a real lesson.
The Shire have struggled with the bat all season, and their hosts demonstrated how to measure an innings and played a wonderful one-day chase and matched their Friends Provident success with another second-innings triumph under the Southampton floodlights.
Glos fought only in periods and they never seemed to gain the upper hand at any stage in the contest; their fairly competitive target was easily overcome, despite the unflattering margin.
It was again the failure of the batsmen to develop partnerships and apply themselves on what was a sluggish pitch that saw the visitors post a slightly below-par total. Poor shot selection was again the culprit as simply, not enough patience was shown; Will Porterfield stepped across his stumps and was LBW after gathering the innings together with his 47 - he simply got frustrated and played a poor shot.
184 could have been defended, but the Shire wrote the match off as a practise game. The players they rested would have been ideal given the circumstances. Jon Lewis in particular would have been extremely effective; his swing and accuracy would have caused many problems - likewise James Franklin, and Steve Kirby was required to fire out a couple of early wickets because the hosts needed to be dismissed.
As it was, Gidman resorted to containing tactics and although the surprise opener Hamish Marshall bowled an excellent spell of 2-21, patience was all that was needed to move Hampshire into a position where, with the field spread outside the powerplay, runs came all too easily and although a few wickets gave Glos a sniff, the result was never really in doubt.
A side note for the Rose Bowl - what a wonderful facility. Hampshire took the plunge and moved themselves out of the small club stakes, to a clean slate of land and have created a magnificent venue that is spectacular, with facilities to make the members feel truly valued and yet still contains a compact county feel. Plans to upgrade further have secured a host of international matches and Hampshire have shown the way in the development of the modern county cricket club.