ESSEX have claimed the County Championship title for the first time in 25 years.

Chris Silverwood's side have enjoyed a superb season upon their return to Division One following their promotion from Division Two last term.

And Essex have now officially been crowned champions after Somerset defeated Essex's nearest challengers, Lancashire, by seven wickets at Taunton today.

Essex secured a comfortable win over Warwickshire inside three days yesterday, and were relying on Somerset to notch a win in order to grab the title.

And with Somerset's win confirmed, Essex will now go into the final two County Championship fixtures - against Hampshire and Yorkshire - already with silverware in hand.