After opener Simon Ecclestone was run out for a duck, Somerset appeared to be cruising to victory as Mike Burns and Graham Rose shared a second wicket stand of 98 runs in 11 overs. But the scene changed dramatically when seven wickets tumbled for 21 runs, six of them shared by leg spinner Greg Loveridge and medium pacer Michael Davies.
Somerset almost became 122 for 9, but James Lawrence dropped a difficult caught and bowled chance offered by Adrian Pierson. In the end, Pierson and Somerset coach Dermot Reeve, in his comeback game after injury, guided Somerset home with one over remaining.
Burns took the Gold Award for his 42-ball innings of 55, which included seven fours and a six.
An unbeaten 46 by Mark Chilton had earlier led the Universities to a respectable total. Sussex's James Pyemont, the schoolboy cricketer of the year in 1996, weighed in with 25 before Marcus Trescothick yorked him with a slower delivery.
Trescothick also had Will House caught behind as he finished as Somerset's most successful bowler with 2 for 20 in his four overs. England paceman Andrew Caddick could also be satisfied with his 2 for 25, as he accounted for Universities' captain Anurag Singh and Loveridge who played one Test for New Zealand two years ago.Reuse content