GLOUCESTERSHIRE gained revenge for their 314-run defeat to Somerset in last season's Bob Willis Trophy, their eight-wicket win in Taunton also dealing an early blow to the hosts' hopes of playing in Division 1 of the County Championship come August.

This was a stark contrast to last summer's red-ball meeting between the sides, which had seen Gloucestershire dismissed for 76 and 70 in reply to the home side's 237 and 223-1 declared, with Somerset bowlers Josh Davey and Craig Overton in imperious form at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

Here, in the first Championship fixture between the West Country rivals since 2007, it was Ryan Higgins - with match figures of 7-100 off 40.5 overs - who led the way as Gloucestershire claimed their first Championship win in Taunton in 28 years.

An even contest over the first two-and-a-bit days had seen Somerset take a mere three-run lead into the second innings, after Steve Davies had inspired them to a total of 312.

Davies had entered the fray at 80-4, and the 34-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman produced a quality innings under pressure.

Sharing a sixth-wicket stand of 116 with Craig Overton (54), Davies reached his half-century off 92 balls and eventually fell to David Payne for 87, with 12 fours and one six.

That left Somerset on 264-8, but Josh Davey (17) and Marchant de Lange (37) both hit sixes off Payne in a breezy stand of 48 to bring up a third batting point.

Higgins (3-71 off 24 overs), Payne (3-72 off 21) and Matt Taylor (3-67 off 17.1) were the most effective Gloucestershire bowlers.

The visitors reached 41 without loss in reply, but then saw their new overseas signing Kraigg Brathwaite - the West Indies captain - trapped lbw for 18 by Overton.

Chris Dent (50) struck Lewis Gregory for three successive boundaries on his way to his third half-century in as many innings, off 70 balls, but then edged behind off de Lange to hand the seamer his first wicket for Somerset.

Somerset's bowlers exerted greater control on Friday afternoon, but nothing seemed to perturb James Bracey - the 23-year-old enhancing his England prospects with his sixth First-Class century.

Having reached his half-century off 115 balls, he made it to three figures from 208 deliveries, before edging Lewis Gregory to second slip to fall for 118, in an innings spanning 12 minutes short of six hours.

Resuming on 301-8 on Saturday morning, Gloucestershire could only add a further eight runs for the last two wickets, both taken by De Lange.

The speedy South African finished with 4-63 off 21.1 overs, and Overton 3-63 off 24, while Taylor contributed a career-best 56 for the away side.

Batting for a second time, Somerset's top order failed to fire once more, and they were in deep trouble at 37-4.

Tom Lammonby recorded his third successive duck, and by the time the match paused for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral on Saturday afternoon, three more wickets had been lost.

Only James Hildreth (64) and Josh Davey (22) made much headway in a poor batting effort from the hosts, eventually succumbing for 149 to leave Gloucestershire needing 153 to win.

They resumed on Sunday morning with 28-1, having lost Dent to Overton the previous evening, and Bracey and Brathwaite were composed in ticking off the runs.

Braithwaite (36) got an inside edge onto his middle stump off De Lange, but Bracey (83*) and Tom Lace (20*) reached the target just before lunch, to hand their side a first First-Class win in Taunton since 1993.

It was also a first First-Class defeat at the Cooper Associates County Ground for Somerset since June 2017, and afterwards head coach Jason Kerr said: "Gloucestershire outplayed us and deserved to win.

"It's a long time since we lost a red-ball game here, and to do so against our local rivals hurts.

"James Bracey was the difference between the sides and set a great example for our young batsmen.

"Our second innings batting was not good enough and we also were not at our best with the ball in Gloucestershire's first innings.

"The lesson to take is that we have to be on our A-game all the time.

"Against Middlesex that wasn't the case, but we managed to pull off a superb win.

"This time we have paid the penalty, but it is only two games into the season and I am certainly not panicking."

The result leaves Somerset on 17 points, behind Group 2 pace-setters Hampshire (46 points) and Gloucestershire (44), ahead of this Thursday's trip to Leicestershire.