Somerset v Northants: Visitors relegated after Taunton draw
|LV= County Championship Division One, Taunton|
|Somerset 314 & 235-6 drew with Northants 448-9 dec|
|Northants 12 pts, Somerset 10 pts|
Northants were relegated to Division Two after just one season in the top flight of the Championship after a draw against Somerset at Taunton.
The visitors, without a win all season, had gone into the final day with a slim chance of victory, with Somerset resuming on 38-0, still 96 behind.
But Johann Myburgh (87) and Tom Abell (36) ended their hopes and a halt was called with the home side on 235-6.
Northants trail Durham in seventh place by 86 points with three games to play.
Somerset, whose hopes of winning the title were mathematically ended after the draw, lost opener Marcus Trescothick lbw to David Willey (3-47) early on the final day and Nick Compton quickly followed to Andrew Hall.
But Myburgh and Abell, who both signed new Somerset contracts recently, added a patient 76 from almost 35 overs as the game meandered towards a draw.
Abell was then run out when he called Myburgh for a single, but was beaten by a direct hit from Willey at the striker's end.
And despite Northants taking two quick wickets to leave Somerset 200-6, Alex Barrow (21 not out) and Craig Overton (15 not out) stayed together until the handshake came at 17:15 BST, although the latter survived a slip chance off Willey.
Northants head coach David Ripley said:
"While it's disappointing to be relegated with such a small points total, I think we can genuinely point to a fair bit of misfortune this season.
"We had three overseas players lined up and for one reason or another none of them joined us. Add to that a catalogue of injuries and it has been difficult.
"We have had good sessions, but not enough good matches. This was as well as we have played and I felt we were in control of the game for a lot of the time.
"Ben Duckett played a fantastic innings and if we can hang onto our good young players we can build for another crack at Division One cricket."
Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick said:
"You have to keep winning to mount a title challenge and it is a while now since our last victory.
"A lot of things didn't go our way in this game and it was one of the unluckiest I have been involved in. But Northants are entitled to win a match this season and in the end we have drawn it pretty comfortably.
"Now we must not let standards drop for our last two games because we want to finish as high as possible."
BBC Somerset's Anthony Gibson:
"A determined 87 from Johann Myburgh, aided and abetted by cool-headed contributions from three of Somerset's younger players, Tom Abell, Alex Barrow and Craig Overton, eventually saw off a spirited Northamptonshire challenge, but not before they were given a nasty fright.
"Even though the draw confirmed their relegation, it was one of Northants' best results of the season. For Somerset, by contrast, another uneven, disappointing performance signalled the end of their Championship hopes and leaves them much to ponder."