Derbyshire 200 and 305 for 3 (Godleman 89, Madsen 69, Lace 69*) lead Gloucestershire 419 (Reece 4-91) by 86 runs
Derbyshire's batsmen fought back strongly to frustrate promotion-chasing Gloucestershire on the third day of the match at Derby. Gloucestershire had an imposing lead of 219 after they were bowled out for 419 with Luis Reece taking 4 for 91 but by the close, the game was back in the balance with Derbyshire 305 for 3, a lead of 86.
Billy Godleman top-scored with 86, Wayne Madsen made 69 and Tom Lace an unbeaten 69 to raise the home side's hopes of pulling off an unlikely victory on the final day.
Gloucestershire had started holding all the cards but after their last three wickets added only 23, the bowlers lost line and length on a pitch which had flattened out.
The wicket did not appear so benign at the start when Reece again showed his quality as a seam and swing bowler by polishing off the tail in the space of four overs. He nipped one back to defeat Jack Taylor's defensive push and knock out middle stump and after Josh Shaw played across the line, more late movement bowled Ben Allison first ball.
Even so, Gloucestershire's lead was still a formidable one but they were unable to put Derbyshire under pressure with a consistent line and by lunch, Godleman and Reece were established.
Ryan Higgins and David Payne, who had been struck on the helmet by Ravi Rampaul, could not reproduce the sustained discipline which had undermined Derbyshire on the first day and the ball was 20 overs old when Shaw broke through.
Reece missed an attempted pull and was lbw for 38 but another 106 runs were added before the next wicket fell as Godleman and Madsen ticked along at four an over.
Some of Gloucestershire's fielding became scruffy and Derbyshire were close to clearing the arrears before Godleman lost concentration and edged a loose drive at Allison. But Madsen was the wicket they wanted given his impressive record against Gloucestershire which included an unbeaten double-century at Bristol in April.
He reached his 50 just before tea and with Lace, put Derbyshire in credit in the 65th over as Gloucestershire's seamers continued to offer too much width.
Ben Charlsworth conceded four fours in his first two overs and Miles Hammond became the seventh bowler used as Gloucestershire became increasingly desperate for a wicket. When it came, it was the result of a poor shot from Madsen who reached for a drive at Allison and spooned a catch to cover.
Gloucestershire should have had another but Tom Smith dropped Leus du Plooy on 7 and when he spilled the same player on 22 off Payne with the new ball, Derbyshire sensed the momentum was now with them.