County Championship: Kent and Essex play out tame draw at Canterbury
|Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, day four|
|Kent 441 & 288-5 dec: Northeast 178*|
|Essex 292: Lawrence 88; Viljoen 3-69|
|Kent (13 pts) drew with Essex (9 pts)|
Sam Northeast made 178 not out as his Kent side batted out a tame draw against County Championship Division Two champions Essex on the final day of the season at Canterbury.
Kent closed on 288-5, a lead of 437, opting not to set Essex a target.
Essex earlier were bowled out for 292, avoiding the follow-on by one run.
Kent were reduced to 40-4 but Northeast shared an unbroken 185 with Will Gidman (63 not out) as runners-up Kent batted through the remainder of the day.
The hosts had already secured the six points that guaranteed second place, a promotion spot in any other season.
In reality, the prospects of a result were slim as soon as David Masters and Matt Dixon scored the three runs Essex needed to avoid the follow-on, with Dixon then out from the very next ball.
Even when Kent slipped to 40-4 and 103-5, it never seemed likely that Essex would be able to force victory without the aid of a declaration.
Northeast, an immovable figure, ensured as much, the only excitement coming when he took 30 off one Kishen Velani over - three fours and three sixes.
The final over was bowled by retiring Essex seamer David Masters, the 38-year-old ending his first-class career with 672 wickets from 202 matches.
He was given a guard of honour that included England Test captain Alastair Cook as he left the field.