Andrew Gale believes the first innings with ball but more bat proved to be Yorkshire’s downfall in their LV= Insurance County Championship defeat against Warwickshire at Emerald Headingley.

Yorkshire were beaten by 106 runs earlier today, ending their hopes of winning the Championship title in 2021.

Chasing 224 to win, they fell from 50-3 at the start of day four to 117 all out shortly before lunch, giving the Bears a win which keeps their own title hopes alive heading into next week’s final round.

The White Rose remain in contention to qualify for the Bob Willis Trophy final as the second-placed finisher in Division One even though it is out of their hands.

And Gale has quite rightly spoken of another year of progress for his squad, despite describing it as “a bit of a nearly year”.

The top four teams in the Championship table – Hampshire, Warwickshire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire – are separated by just 6.5 points.

It will require results elsewhere to go Yorkshire’s way alongside a win of their own against Notts at Trent Bridge, starting on Tuesday.

Yorkshire bowled the Bears out for 155 in their first innings on Sunday, only to reply with 108. From there, the game got away from them in bowler-friendly conditions.

“It was disappointing to end in the fashion we did this morning because I think when people play against Yorkshire, they know we’re a hard team to beat,” said coach Gale.

“But I thought we were a bit soft to not take the game past lunch.

“Credit to Warwickshire, they’ve bowled well throughout the game.

“We should have bowled them out a bit cheaper in the first innings, but I was more disappointed with the batting in the first innings. We should have got level, if not a 50 lead.

“I thought 200 was about right, but we didn’t apply ourselves as well as we could have. I reckon that’s where the game got away from us.

“I just spoke a little bit in the dressing room about my experience of 2013 when we fell short, losing against Scarborough at Durham. That hurt the players, but they learnt from it (and went and won back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015).

“You have to grab key moments in games to win trophies, and that first innings was a key moment. If we’d have batted better, we could have put the game to bed.

“But you have to put things into perspective a bit. We’ve lost two games out of the last 19. The way we’ve played over the last few weeks, we’ve played some great cricket.

“If you look around the dressing room, there are a few experienced heads, but it’s a young team. We are on this journey with the young lads to give them opportunity, and they will learn from this.”

Gale continued: “It feels a bit of a nearly year because I feel we should have got to Finals Day, the lads also got to the quarter-finals in the 50-over comp and we’re one game away from taking the Championship to the last game of the season.

“But we are on the upward curve.”

Yorkshire will head into next week at Trent Bridge with something still to play for – an appearance in the season-ending Bob Willis five-day final at Lord’s.

There are some availability question marks.

Of the hamstring injury captain Steve Patterson picked up bowling on Monday’s second day, Gale said: “If I were a betting man, I’d say he’ll probably be struggling. It’s a risk we maybe don’t need to take.”

T20 World Cup bound duo Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan will not be available, but David Willey is expected to replace Patterson. In terms of Test captain Joe Root, Gale said: “I’m not sure yet.”

But he added: “We will pick our best team available.

“We certainly won’t be going to Trent Bridge to make the numbers up. I want to finish the season on a high. Notts have a chance of winning the Championship, and the last thing I want to be doing is seeing them lift the trophy in front of us.”

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