Yorkshire’s hopes of a Roses draw are still alive heading into day four against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford, but the late departures of openers Adam Lyth and Tom Kohler-Cadmore were obvious blows.
Yorkshire conceded a first-innings lead of 350 with 46 overs remaining in the day.
Lancashire advanced their reply to 159 from 350-6 overnight to 509-9 as Josh Bohannon’s 127 not out represented his second career century in the LV= Insurance County Championship.
Lyth (39) and Kohler-Cadmore (32) then dug in on a docile surface, sharing 72 to help their side close the day on 85-2 in 47 overs.
Yorkshire should still be confident of maintaining their unbeaten start to 2021, despite well documented recent batting struggles.
Since Yorkshire fell to 40-7 before lunch on day one, only 14 wickets have fallen.
Aside from turn, there is little on offer in terms of help for the bowlers – maybe a touch of reverse swing.
Yorkshire will have to navigate another new ball immediately after lunch on day four, and the ability is there in the dressing room to secure eight points. Now it is about turning that ability into runs and results.
Lyth and Kohler-Cadmore followed the example set by Lancashire centurions Keaton Jennings (114 on days one and two) and Bohannon, defending stoutly and leaving the ball well.
Earlier, Bohannon started the day on 47 and went on to share 150 for the seventh wicket with fellow all-rounder Danny Lamb, who made 61.
Yorkshire went through the morning session wicketless, as they did on day two.
They controlled the run-rate, but rarely looked like taking the four wickets quickly to wrap up the home innings.
Lancashire moved towards a total of 500 for only the fourth time in Roses history and for the first time 2007.
As Lamb scored his runs, his younger sister Emma was scoring a Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy century for Lancashire affiliated North West Thunder at Bristol.
Bohannon reached his century off 260 balls after lunch when runs came more freely.
Yorkshire delayed taking the new ball after 160 overs and bowled Dom Bess and the medium pace of George Hill and Harry Brook after lunch, likely in a move to save their frontline seamers for Sussex at home next week.
Three wickets came in the afternoon as Lancashire fell from 490-6 to 509-9.
Bess had Lamb caught at long-off by Steve Patterson before Hill uprooted Tom Bailey’s middle and leg stumps with a fine yorker the ball after being hit for six over mid-wicket.
Hill then played the lead part in running Saqib Mahmood out from cover with the help of wicketkeeper Harry Duke as the fast bowler scrambled to regain his ground.
That brought about the declaration in the 174th over of the innings.
Then it was over to Lyth and Kohler-Cadmore, who batted together for 38.3 overs.
They set about their third opening partnership above 50 this season and their second highest; the other two coming in the win over Sussex at Hove in April.
Lyth was the first Yorkshire wicket to fall when he clipped Matthew Parkinson’s leg-spin to leg slip, where Luke Wells took a low catch.
Parkinson and the liqourice allsorts spin of Liam Livingstone – he bowls a mixture of offies and leggies – will be Lancashire’s chief threat.
Kohler-Cadmore was then trapped lbw in the day’s penultimate over by Mahmood, leaving the score at 82-2.
Will Fraine and nightwatchman Steve Patterson will begin day four at the crease in the early stages of their innings.