Given that they began the day at 99 for one and were a commanding 206 for two 40 minutes after lunch, Derbyshire allowed the game to slip away from them somewhat disappointingly before a couple of late wickets for Tony Palladino raised their spirits.
It was a timely boost to their morale after they had failed to build sufficiently on the foundations painstakingly put down by Paul Borrington, who responded to the demands faced by a side fighting for their survival by batting for almost five and a half hours before his vigil was ended by a ball from Graham Onions that had him caught at second slip for 75.
Borrington, who did not figure in Derbyshire's Championship side this season until last month, got his head down and grafted. His partnership for the second wicket with Wayne Madsen, so often the mainstay of Derbyshire's batting this season, was broken only four balls into the day, when the latter was leg before, also to Onions. Borrington showed admirable composure to share another lengthy spell of Derbyshire ascendancy, this time alongside Shivnarine Chanderpaul, a veteran of 308 first-class matches to his 40.
They put on 106, with Chanderpaul escaping on 22 against his former county when Scott Borthwick spilled a chance at second slip, before he edged a ball from Usman Arshad that Paul Collingwood held. Yet Derbyshire were wasteful thereafter, surrendering their last eight wickets for 92. They also failed by two runs to claim a third batting point when Mark Footitt, who had been last out in the first innings in the victory over Somerset at Taunton last week, chipped a tame return catch to Chris Rushworth, who finished with 5-47.
It was a third five-wicket haul of the season for Rushworth, who deserved this one for the way he played against Sussex at Chester-le-Street last week, where he bowled outstandingly but finished the match with only one wicket. Derbyshire's collapse wasted the efforts of David Wainwright and Palladino, who gave them a chance of grabbing what might turn out to be a vital extra point by adding 42 for the eighth wicket to stem an earlier collapse from 242-3 to 248-7 against the new ball.
Footitt hardly made amends with the ball, bowling five overs for 32. But Palladino had the hitherto impressive Stoneman caught behind and bowled Keaton Jennings. Leaders Durham trailed by 216 at the close with Palladino two for 19 from seven overs.