IT all comes down to this.

The County Championship title race was always going to be a rollercoaster ride, particularly with Somerset involved – “there’s never a dull moment here”, as captain Tom Abell put it recently – and the last two weeks have provided ample evidence of that.

The prospect of becoming champions began to feel real when Yorkshire were swept aside a fortnight ago, then felt almost snatched away as Somerset subsided in Southampton last week.

Now, at least, Somerset know exactly what they have to do.

Victory in their Taunton fortress against current leaders Essex will, barring some highly unlikely bonus point scenarios, be enough to secure a first ever County Championship title and spark scenes of untold jubilation around the county town.

Supporters will be travelling from far and wide to be in Taunton this week, simply in the hope of being able to say 'I was there'.

Let us hope, then, that the weather is brighter than the forecast suggests and this titanic battle of the two leading Division One sides provides a fitting conclusion to an incredible summer of cricket.

Somerset head coach Jason Kerr wouldn't be drawn on whether this is the biggest game of his time at the club – “it’s hard to quantify these things” - but will stress to his players that they must relish this occasion.

"I think it is really important that they enjoy it," Kerr said.

"It is an exciting climax to a season, the culmination of all the blood, sweat and tears along the way, and we have the chance to do something special.

"I have no doubt we will have huge support in the ground and we have to embrace it.

"Lord's earlier this season was an amazing day and we already have one trophy in the bag this summer, but I don't want to hide behind that - we are very clear in what we want to do this week.

"Personally, I'm really excited."

Emotions will doubtless be running high among Somerset fans, as they were last week in the midst of the heavy defeat at Hampshire.

The size of and passion within the fanbase can be a real bonus when things are going well, but it can also make criticism sting that bit more when matches don't go to plan - not that Kerr would see much of it, on social media at least.

"I try and stay off it, whether it's the beginning of the season or the end of the season," he said.

"I think there are enough distractions in professional sport as it is and I am keen on controlling what you can control.

"Of course we were disappointed with how things went last week but spirits were high when we trained on Friday and the focus is now all on the Essex game.

"I will be trying to take the pressure off the players and stressing that the game doesn't change.

“You still have to put the ball in the right areas, control the controllables and trust the process, as we have done all year."

It is certainly a bonus that the decider is in Taunton, where Somerset are unbeaten all season and have won five of their six Championship matches in 2019.

There have been no scores of 400 or more at the Cooper Associates County Ground in the Championship (something unlikely to change this week), with Somerset's bowlers often tasked with salvaging situations after some fragile batting efforts.

Indeed, it is an odd quirk to see a team challenging for the title with a batting line-up whose most productive member, George Bartlett, is averaging 32.41 - 34th in the national list.

Though that same batting unit have, of course, outscored their opponents on enough occasions to record nine victories in 13 matches thus far, now would be a fine time for a couple of top order players to return to form.

One of those struggling for runs is James Hildreth, now back at four after a lean stint in the top three, and the 35-year-old will be looking to gain inspiration from an incredible record in September.

He has scored centuries in each of Somerset's last four season-ending matches and has not failed to score a century in September since 2009.

"James has not had the prolific season we might expect but that happens - form is a funny thing," Kerr said.

"I hope he has been looking back at his record at the end of the season over the years - and I will certainly be reminding him of it."

For Tom Abell, meanwhile, this could turn into the week he has dreamed of since he took his first steps into the County Ground as a youngster.

A Taunton-born captain, whose boyhood club was Taunton CC and who was educated at Taunton School, lifting his county's first ever title on his home ground? Boy's own stuff - and there could be no more fitting player to hoist the trophy aloft should Somerset get the job done.

"I can't speak highly enough of Tom," Kerr said - an opinion which will be shared far and wide regarding Somerset's mild-mannered, genial skipper who has time for everyone.

"He epitomises what we are about as a club and what we are trying to build."

This is unlikely to be a particularly productive week in the workplaces of Somerset and the Westcountry.

Weather updates will flood in from Watchet to Weston-super-Mare and Brixham to Bristol, scorecards will be forensically observed during suspiciously long tea breaks and nerves will be set on edge for anyone with a connection to Somerset cricket.

So however you are following the action this week – in the ground, on the television, on the live blog with your County Gazette – let’s hope it’s a memorable one.

Somerset’s players have sung ‘Blackbird’ on plenty of occasions already this season – it would be belted out with a gusto like never before if they get the job done this week.