True Yorkshire grit shines in Roses battle

A Yorkshireman who tripped, fell and broke his collar-bonebefore start of play refused to enter the ambulance until Yorkshire had refunded his entrance money. Yorkshire's cricketers are in similar mood, gritty, giving nowt, and so Lancashire's sequence of three successive victories will end today, possibly in defeat.

A Yorkshireman who tripped, fell and broke his collar-bonebefore start of play refused to enter the ambulance until Yorkshire had refunded his entrance money. Yorkshire's cricketers are in similar mood, gritty, giving nowt, and so Lancashire's sequence of three successive victories will end today, possibly in defeat.

For Lancashire are badly handicapped: already without the injured Peter Martin and Ian Austin - and with Andrew Flintoff supposed to be resting his back from bowling - they limped through a day when both Sourav Ganguly and Richard Green had to bewithdrawn because of groin and side strains.

The impetus Yorkshire lost when a thunderstorm ended play at tea on Saturday was regained through a morning of tight, old-fashioned Roses cricket by the tenacity of David Byas.

The captain, in his benefit summer, has struggled to find form and timing as he moved up and down a fragile order, trying to plug the gaps. He is now batting at No 6.

A patient 84 in the previous Championship match hinted that he had refashioned his defence and that returning technique was needed at the start when, still 64 behind, Darren Lehmann's audaciousinnings of Saturday was ended without addition by an lbwdecision.

Richard Blakey departed one run later so Byas was left with Gary Fellows and three seamers in a situation that had turned in five overs from dominance to crisis.

The much vilified pitch was playing easily and the only sign of wear was an occasional lower bounce at the Grandstand end.

It was at this point, as Ganguly and Green appeared to replace Glen Chapple and Mike Smethurst, that Lancashire's luck departed.

Byas and Fellows were able to add 82, in growing cheer, in 25 overs and might have prospered even more had not Ganguly's breakdown brought on Neil Fairbrother to complete the over. Byas jabbed at hissecond ball, Warren Hegg swooped, Lancastriansguffawed and Headingley was struck dumb.

But Byas had done his job. Yorkshire were 24 ahead and Fellows, Chris Silverwood and Matthew Hoggard were able to push, pull and drive the lead up to 109, even Flintoff having to be called up to bowl.

Lancashire restarted just before 3.45, Mike Atherton pulling Silverwood's first ball for four, a defiant, almost angrygesture that that may havesignified his team's frustration.

The innings was taking shape when Byas, possibly to switch Hoggard to his favoured Kirkstall Lane end, introduced Chris Elstub and once again Dewsbury's 19-year-old struck, inducing Atherton to drive and edge behind. He might also have taken Flintoff, too, on five, had he been able to hold a sharp return catch.

Briefly the Big Bat threatened to take Lancashire into the lead on his own and it was perhaps fitting that Silverwood, who had shaved the edge twice, should eventually see him fall at slip.

That left two old campaigners in charge and although Neil Fairbrother was bothered by Craig White's attack from round the wicket - and might have been caught at slip when on six - he and a vigilant John Crawley saw Lancashire safe, 18 ahead, for the night.

Darren Gough, it turned out, did not get a bowl. Banned by England from playing for Yorkshire he was to have bowled for the Yorkshire Academy at Barnsley on Saturday but their match was rained off.

It must be said that God's Own County is in cracking form: a local fish and chip shop is celebrating the Queen Mother's birthday by offering free haddock and chips to customers who are aged 100 or more.

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