Sussex’s proud record of being the last non-Test ground county to win the Championship, which stood for a decade, will end with Essex’s title triumph this week.
And it looks as if Sussex will be condemned to a third season in Division Two after they were second best to Derbyshire for the first three days at Hove.
Five wins out of six had raised promotion hopes, but Sussex were badly beaten by Northants last week and former skipper Luke Wright admits they have lacked consistency during the run-in.
Wright, who made a welcome return to form with top score of 70 in the first innings against Derbyshire, said: “We’ve had two disappointing days against Derbyshire and last week we never got into the game until late on the third day when it was too late.
“We’ve played sloppy cricket in the last two games.We have got to be better, and I include myself in that.
“I’ve had a disappointing month. Everyone can have a run of bad form so it was nice for me to spend some time in the middle in our first innings and get a bit of confidence again.”
While Sussex try to keep their season alive Derbyshire captain Billy Godleman’s summer is over. He broke his right hand on the first day after being struck by an accidental beamer bowled by Stuart Whittingham. Godleman is likely to have surgery next week.