Lancashire suffered a third loss of the season at the hands of Notts at Southport today, losing by 129 runs
Their bid to go top of the table came unstuck as they were unable to chase down 258 against the reigning champions on day three.
They were bowled out for 128 with Australian passport holder Darren Pattinson claiming five wickets for the first time this season, his 5-44 from 19 overs added to his three wickets in the first innings.
Former New Zealand international Andre Adams also took four wickets, clinching a ten-wicket haul for the match, as Karl Brown top-scored for Lancashire with 23 during an overcast and unsettled day at Trafalgar Road.
Lancashire coach Peter Moores revealed afterwards that he did not have any complaints about the result.
He said: “We never really got that close in the end. We got off to a flyer in the first three overs, but they bowled very well after that. They deserved it. We’ve been beaten in a tight game, and you have to be able to take a loss.
“At 27-5 on the first morning, the game was obviously with us. But credit to them because their lower order got some valuable runs.
“I also thought Adams and Pattinson, as a combination, were hard work for us.”
Despite reaching 37-0 early in the morning session, the hosts rarely looked like claiming the win after they had started the day with eight runs on the board and all ten wickets still intact.
They fell to 51-4 prior to lunch, later losing their last five wickets for 25 runs as Pattinson and Adams bowled with penetration and control to seal a first win in eight matches for Chris Read’s side.
Opener Stephen Moore emphatically pulled Pattinson for six onto the adjacent railway line that runs from Southport to Liverpool, but he fell shortly afterwards as he slashed Pattinson to Alex Hales at first slip.
Paul Horton was then the first of two wickets in two balls to go to Adams, who bowled the opener and had Mark Chilton caught behind to leave the score at 41-3.
And Lancashire were firmly behind the eight-ball when Steven Croft also edged Adams behind to wicketkeeper Read to leave the hosts at 51-4 in the 21st over.
Karl Brown played down the wrong line and lost his off stump to Pattinson three balls into the afternoon session, but there was a brief period of calm before the wickets tumbled in steady rain.
Tom Smith was caught at second slip by Adam Voges off Adams before Kyle Hogg was also caught in the same position by the Australian off Pattinson.
Gareth Cross had been bowled by Pattinson in between Smith and Hogg departing.
Glen Chapple was then bowled off his pads by Pattinson to clinch his five-for before Luke Fletcher wrapped up the win for Notts by getting Simon Kerrigan caught by Graeme White.
Moores added: “We are still very much in the mix. With five games to go, it will come down to who can maybe win three of those. We know we are playing some really good cricket, and we have some big challenges ahead.”
Lancashire have a Clydesdale Bank 40 clash with Gloucestershire at Cheltenham on Sunday to contend with before a return to Championship action against fellow title chasers Warwickshire at Liverpool on Monday.