Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield claimed bronze in the 10metre platform synchro at the final World Series leg in Tijuana, Mexico.
With the all-conquering Chinese absent, Daley and Waterfield produced their best score of the four-leg series to deservedly grab a place on the dais.
The duo returned a score of 446.88, which beat the total that earned them silver behind China in Beijing last month, in a highly-competitive final.
With a dive remaining Daley and Waterfield were less than two points off the lead but United States pair David Boudia and Nick McCrory held their nerve to take gold from the home Mexican pairing.
China's decision to skip the final major event before this summer's Olympics allowed the remaining nations the chance to go head-to-head to prove their medal credentials in London.
And while the British pair produced a solid performance they were given a reminder of the competitiveness of the discipline.
After Germany won last week in Moscow they had to be content with sixth in Tijuana, after bombing their final dive to fall out of contention, to underline the closeness of the field behind China ahead of the Olympics.
It was a good opening day of the meet for Great Britain with Plymouth diver Tonia Couch claiming fourth in the women's 10m platform while 17-year-old Jack Laugher reached his first 3m springboard final of the series.