Liam Dawson revealed Hampshire’s disappointment at failing to make the knockout stages of the Royal London One-Day Cup.
A five-run defeat to south group winners Somerset at the Ageas Bowl put paid to the home side’s chances of a spot in the last eight.
Stand-in skipper Dawson spoke of his team’s pain at failing to chase down 251 for victory.
But he is confident their sustained qualification challenge bodes well for the climax to the County Championship campaign, with the club’s division one status on the line.
The England all-rounder said: ‘It is a huge disappointment for the team and the club.
‘We weren’t good enough on the night.
‘It was a challenging total, the ball turned a little bit when we bowled but it was on the slower side.
‘We planned to take the game deep to win it.
‘It was best to bat with the new ball and the pitch got slower and slower as the innings and game went on.
‘We knew we could get off to a good start but batting would get harder.’
Hampshire were frustrated after losing the toss.
Sri Lanka legend Mahela Jayawardene and Jim Allenby shared an opening stand of 108 as they set the platform for Somerset’s victory.
And while the home side fought back to restrict their visitors to 250 for nine, the victory chase always looked difficult.
And so it proved as Jimmy Adams (50) and Will Smith (59) produced promising knocks without going on to make a match-winning contribution.
Some lusty blows from Brad Wheal and Gareth Andrew late on offered a glimmer of hope for Hampshire.
But in the end the tail were left with too much to do – notching eight of the 14 runs required from the final over.
Victories in three of their previous four fixtures had sparked hopes of a late charge into the quarter-finals. But Hampshire’s defeat to Somerset scuppered those chances – with Surrey’s five-wicket win over Middlesex in a rain-affected clash at Lord’s ensuring the Oval outfit snatched the final place in the last eight.
Dawson & Co will now turn their attentions to County Championship division one survival.
They currently prop up the top-flight table but have six games remaining to climb away from danger for a second consecutive season.
Dawson added: ‘We have played some good cricket in the past few weeks but we are disappointed not to go through.
‘Coming fifth means nothing to us but hopefully we can carry some decent cricket into the four-day games.
‘It is nice to have six games in red-ball cricket to focus on and a chance to stay in division one.’