THE absence of a ruthless streak cost Gloucestershire once again in their 26-run County Championship defeat against Glamorgan at Swansea.
Letting the opposition off the hook is becoming a nasty habit for Alex Gidman's men and they failed to capitalise after putting themselves in a dominant position against Glamorgan, who were bottom of Division Two with just one victory this season before the game.
The hosts were reduced to 125-9 in their first innings but a final wicket partnership of 83 between Dean Cosker (49*) and number 11 Huw Waters (39) turned the game. Rob Nicol took an impressive 4-53 on his first class debut for Gloucestershire after Ian Saxelby (2-37), David Payne (2-29) and Jack Taylor (2-75) did the early damage.
Gloucestershire made a recovery of their own after falling to 83-7, but despite the best efforts of Ian Cockbain (39) and Hamish Marshall (31), who batted down at number nine due to illness, they were still trailing after being bowled out for 165 in an innings that lasted 90.1 overs.
After several rain breaks interrupted the match, Glamorgan demonstrated their intention to force a result by declaring on 204-7 in their second innings, setting Gloucestershire an achievable target of 248 from 81 overs.
Once again the top order struggled and they were reduced to 48-4 before Cockbain shared 60 for the fifth wicket with Dan Housego (47) and then 63 with 20-year-old Taylor for the seventh wicket.
Taylor, enjoying a fine match having taken four wickets with the ball, smashed 63 off just 45 balls to put victory in sight, but Gloucestershire stumbled at the critical moment - just as they did in their drawn previous game against Leicestershire.
Veteran spinner Robert Croft (4-53) removed Cockbain (55), Richard Coughtrie (0), Taylor and Saxelby (3) to add to the four wickets he took in the first innings and wrap up the win for Glamorgan.