Yorkshire CCC determined to topple Red Rose rivals

ANDREW GALE is challenging his Yorkshire players to bounce back from their innings defeat to Lancashire by usurping them at the top of County Championship Group Three.

Defiant: Yorkshire CCC coach Andrew Gale. Picture: SWPix

Yorkshire ceded a 24-point advantage – the equivalent of a victory with maximum points – to the leaders at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Gale’s second-placed side have just three matches left to swing the scales, starting with today’s visit of second-bottom Sussex to Emerald Headingley.

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Yorkshire face third-placed Northamptonshire at Wantage Road from July 4 and Lancashire at Scarborough from July 11, while Lancashire’s other fixtures are against fourth-placed Glamorgan at Cardiff from today and at home to bottom club Kent from July 4.

The top-two sides at the end of the 10-match group campaign go into Division One, earning them a crack at the title and the Bob Willis Trophy.

Yorkshire head into this week’s match with a two-point cushion over Northamptonshire and will be favourites against a Sussex team they have already beaten once this year, with first XI coach Gale insisting: “We still want to finish top of the group. Yes, Lancashire beat us but we’ve still got three games left and I still think it’s achievable to finish top.

“We’ve still got to play Lancashire again at Scarborough, which is a good hunting ground for us, so we haven’t given up on that goal.”

Yorkshire were well-beaten at Old Trafford despite coming within just 40 deliveries of securing a draw.

They toughed it out for 136.2 overs in their second innings to make 271 after surrendering a first innings lead of 350 (Yorkshire lasted just 64.1 overs in their first innings of 159).

“The Lancashire game was just one game and it’s not the end of the world,” added Gale, whose side were hitherto unbeaten after three wins and three draws. “It bloody hurt, but it’s certainly not all doom and gloom.

“I said to the lads that if they show the resilience that they showed in the second innings, and put that into the first innings of games, they’re going to win more games than they lose.”