Much though he may have been uplifted by Huddersfield Town's advance to the League One play-off final on Wednesday, Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale had rather less cause to be in a celebratory mood as Lancashire took a grip here.
A slow pitch that had proved a real struggle for his batsmen on the opening day was more compliant with the home side's plans and they dominated all three sessions. The weather forecast for today threatens interruptions but Lancashire's lead is already one that may only need fairly modest embellishment.
It was set up by Paul Horton, an opening batsman born in Australia but who grew up on Merseyside. He lost his overnight partner early in the morning when Steve Patterson had Karl Brown leg before but set his own chin defiantly against all of Yorkshire's efforts to dislodge him.
Scoring runs at any noteworthy pace was still difficult, certainly compared with the rate of progress at Whitgift School, but Horton had the patience to bide his time and the indeterminate push with which he edged a ball from Adil Rashid to be caught behind was not typical. It left him disappointed on 93, when the innings deserved better.
Rashid could not summon the control that Gary Keedy had found for Lancashire and was upstaged by the rookie Joe Root, who took two in two balls with his off breaks. Mark Chilton followed Horton's sensible lead in his 77 and some late entertainment from Farveez Maharoof and Glen Chapple, who passed the milestone of 7,000 first-class runs for Lancashire, stretched the home advantage to 186.
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