Lancashire lost their opening match of a County Championship season for the first time since 1998 today as Sussex seamer Steve Magoffin impressed with seven wickets at Liverpool.
The Australian, 32 years old, stunned the county champions with 7-34 from 19.5 overs, which were the second best innings figures of a career that has seen him play for Queensland and Western Australia but never his national side.
Lancashire, who were given encouragement by Ashwell Prince's 58 and Luke Procter's 46, were bowled out for 176 in their second innings, which meant the Hove side needed just one run to win when they began batting second time around after lunch.
Sussex, who claimed 22 points to Lancashire's three, won by ten wickets, and it was they who won that aforementioned match in 1998 down at Hove.
"They definitely out-played us in this game, there's no doubt about that," said Lancashire captain Glen Chapple. "We got into the game on the second day and played some decent stuff, but it was a little bit 'too little, too late'
"It's our job to make sure we address the things that we can improve on. It was a poor toss to lose, but they still out-played us."
The Red Rose made a positive start to the day having resumed 91 runs behind on 85-4 as Prince and Procter shared 88 for the fifth-wicket, a stand which they had started in the final session of day two.
Procter hit England spinner Monty Panesar for successive fours during the ninth over of the morning - one driven straight and the other emphatically pulled - and overtook Prince to move within a boundary of 50.
But he fell when he tried to loft Panesar over mid-on, skewing the ball to Luke Wells at point to leave the score at 137-5. Prince then reached his half-century off 131 balls before hitting Panesar for a huge six over long-on and into the tennis courts.
Unfortunately he could not last much longer because Magoffin, who had switched to the Pavilion End from the River End, struck. He had Prince caught behind by Ben Brown before getting Chapple caught behind, and now Lancashire were struggling at 160-7.
And, when Sajid Mahmood edged to Michael Yardy at first slip to hand Panesar his third wicket of the innings, Lancashire were on the brink at 161-8 with the lunch break looming large.
Rain delayed the start of the afternoon session by 25 minutes, but Magoffin wrapped up Lancashire's innings quickly when play got underway. He bowled Kyle Hogg and had Simon Kerrigan caught behind to finish with match figures of 9-55.
Chapple added: "They played good cricket, and they've got every right to. It's our job to make sure we address the things that we can improve on. But we've got plenty of belief and spirit in the bank.
"The positives are that we prepared well and lost one game, that's all.
"It's a tough start to the season. We normally start well. On the whole we've just got to pick it up. There's a lot of good sides in this division, and it's not going to be easy. We just want to start the game better and get on top of things as early as we can."
Photo of Ashwell Prince (c) Simon Pendrigh
Article (c) Lancashire CCC