THERE was no last-day reprieve for Paignton, who drop straight back to the A Division after losing by five wickets to Exeter.
Six clubs were in relegation jeopardy on the last day, two of them being Exeter and Paignton.
The likelihood was whoever lost at Queens Park would be heading for the drop unless results elsewhere combined to do the losers a favour.
So Paignton go back down again after a season back in the top-flight, the same fate that afflicted them in 2015.
Victory lifted Exeter above Torquay, who will be going down with Paignton.
Opener Noah Wright (55) and Rob Shergold (51) both made half-centuries in Paignton’s 50-over total of 208 for six.
Somerset’s Dom Bess took three for 43 on one of his increasingly rare outings for Exeter.
Exeter scrambled home three balls into the last over at the end of a nail-biting chase.
A running total of 102 for two looked promising – Somerset and England U19 star Ben Green making 42 – but 137 for five with Bess out second ball wasn’t so good.
Tom Lammonby, fresh from winning man of the series for England U19s against India, hit an unbeaten 59 in a stand of 74 unbroken with Sean Morris (28no) to win it.
Richard Ashworth, the Paignton captain, said lack of consistency was largely responsible for failing to stay up..
He added: “The Exeter game was a great game of cricket, unfortunately we fell on the wrong side of the result.
It's funny how that game has almost defined our season and decided our fate.
“Had we played like that all season I'm sure we wouldn't be in this position now.
“Credit to Exeter though they fought till the end and just edged on us the day.”
Ashworth said relegation was a setback not a disaster as the young squad at Queens Park will only get better.
“There's a few things we will look back on from the season and will need to address for next year - batting being of them,” he said.
“We still have loads of positives to take from this year and there's lots to be proud of.
“I don't think many clubs in Devon can say their whole first team - apart from the overseas - have come up through their youth system.
:There is a lot of young talented players coming through at the moment and provided we can stick together the future is looking very bright.”