Worcestershire Seconds suffered their first defeat of the campaign in the Second Eleven Trophy when edged out by eight runs against Durham at New Road today.
Coach Kevin Sharp's side had won their opening four games in the competition against Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and MCC Young Cricketers to top the North Group.
But they just failed to reach a target of 228 in a match reduced to 45 overs a side despite half centuries from Ollie Westbury and Alexei Kervezee.
Durham were put into bat under cloudy skies and were indebted to opener Gareth Harte who batted through the innings for 124 not out.
He struck one six and 12 fours in his 132 ball knock and shared in stands of 49 with Adam Hickey and 85 with MA Jones before Matthew Potts hit 30 not out in a total of 227-4.
Ben Twohig and Alex Hepburn bowled tidily for Worcestershire in conceding 37 and 34 runs respectively in their nine overs and picking up one wicket apiece.
Westbury and Tom Fell (30 off 36 balls) added 64 for the second wicket and it became 114-3 in the 24th over when the former was dismissed by Matthew McKiernan for exactly 50 off 72 balls.
It continued Westbury's run of impressive scores in white ball cricket and he struck six fours.
But leg spinner McKiernan proved to be a major thorn in the Seconds side and he finished with 5-45 from nine overs.
His victims included Kervezee who top-scored with 60 off 59 balls with one six and three fours before he was seventh out at 174.
The game looked over at 189-9 but wicket-keeper Joe Dodd (20 not out) and Pat Brown (9) added 30 for the final wicket.
Ten runs were required off the final over and from the second ball Brown was run out.
The Seconds now complete their group programme next Monday against Lancashire at Neston CC and looking for a win to boost their hopes of a semi-final spot.
GJ Harte not out 124
AJ Hickey* st JMH Dodd b BJ Twohig 17
MA Jones b A Hepburn 27
J Coughlin c A Hepburn b AN Kervezee 3
IA Karim+ b PR Brown 16
M Potts not out 30
Total (for 4 wickets) 227 in 45 overs
FOW: 49, 134, 141, 182
GH Rhodes* b G Onions 9
OE Westbury b MH McKiernan 50
TC Fell c MA Jones b J Coughlin 30
AN Kervezee c S Steel b MH McKiernan 60
A Hepburn b MH McKiernan 2
JJ Dell b MH McKiernan 1
Z Ul-A Malik c IA Karim b MH McKiernan 8
BJ Twohig c IA Karim b M Potts 5
Z Ul-Hassan c J Coughlin b M Potts 6
JMH Dodd+ not out 20
PR Brown run out (GT Main) 9
Total (all out) 219 in 44.2 overs
FOW: 11, 75, 114, 121, 129, 158, 174, 178, 189, 219