FOR the second week running, Somerset were frustrated by the weather, as persistent rain ruined spectators' long-awaited return to county cricket.

Just as the LV= Insurance County Championship match against Surrey in Taunton had been washed out the week before, so it was for the first Championship meeting between West Country rivals Gloucestershire and Somerset in Bristol since 2007.

There were just 20.2 overs for the fans to enjoy on Thursday's opening day at Nevil Road, as Somerset were put in to bat and shrugged off the early loss of Tom Lammonby (3), reaching 45-1.

No play at all was possible on day two, meaning that bonus points were the only realistic target left to aim for.

Even those looked out of reach for the visitors when they were reduced to 176-7 on Saturday... only for Tom Abell and Lewis Gregory to perform a rescue act - something which has become quite familiar to Somerset fans this season.

The away side had lost Eddie Byrom (38) and James Hildreth (15), then three more wickets in just eight deliveries as Daniel Worrall tore through their middle order.

The departure of Craig Overton (15) brought Gregory in to join the resilient Abell, and they shared an eighth-wicket partnership of 116, with Gregory providing a 77-ball half-century.

He eventually fell for 57, at which point Somerset declared on 300-8, denying Gloucestershire the chance of a third bowling point.

Abell's unbeaten 132 was his eighth First-Class century, coming off 287 balls, with 16 fours.

Somerset had time to reduce their hosts to 16-2 by the close, with Overton removing Chris Dent and Josh Davey accounting for new England squad member James Bracey.

Sunday brought more rain, to the relief of a Gloucestershire side which found itself plummeting to 27-6 in the short amount of play that was possible.

Only Kraigg Brathwaite (15) made it to double figures as Overton (4-16 off 7.2 overs) and Davey (2-11 off seven) ran riot.

But any notion of a dramatic push for victory, which would have taken the visitors top of the Group 2 standings, was ended by more rain.

The match was finally abandoned just after 3.30pm, giving Somerset 13 points and Gloucestershire 10 from the draw.

It means that Gloucestershire's lead at the top of the group has been cut to one point, although they do have a game in hand over second-placed Somerset.

Hampshire are 10 points behind Somerset in third, ahead of their visit to Taunton on Thursday, June 3.