Tom Abell believes Somerset will be contenders again next season for a first County Championship title.

Somerset finished second for the third time in four seasons despite almost snatching the trophy from Essex’s grasp on a dramatic final day at Taunton.

“We’re desperate to get a County Championship,” Somerset captain Abell said. “It will definitely fuel a fire within us, that’s for sure.”

The draw meant Essex finished top by just 11 points ahead of Somerset.

Coming into the last day of a rain-affected fixture in which more than 200 overs had been lost, Somerset needed to bowl Essex out cheaply twice.

Despite losing the first 90 minutes to more rain, they took 11 of the 20 Essex wickets they needed, including 9-39 in the space of 15 overs to bowl them out for just 141 in their first innings.

But after forfeiting their second innings and putting Essex back in, they could only dismiss opener Nick Browne in the final hour of play as former England captain Alastair Cook finished 30 not out.

“We took it right down to the wire,” Abell said. “That middle session gave ourselves a chance to win the game, but it wasn’t meant to be.

“To give ourselves that chance was an incredible effort. We’re gutted, we were desperate to try to get over the line, but it wasn’t meant to be.

“Over a Championship season, the best teams will always prevail so congratulations to Essex. It’s been a good race at the top.”

Somerset head coach Jason Kerr bemoaned the poor weather in the final week and felt his side were the best in the County Championship this season.

“I genuinely believe you get what you deserve and I don’t think we have this season,” he told BBC Somerset.

“The nature of the way we’ve played, the circumstances of the past four days, things have contrived against us.

“That’s circumstance, it’s happened and Essex were in the position where if it finished a draw, they would be champions.

“But we kept going and believed we could win the game and that shows some great spirit for the seasons ahead.”