Yorkshire 158 (Hill 71) and 217 (Brook 113, Kerrigan 5-39) beat Northamptonshire 170 (Vasconcelos 55, Bess 7-43) and 152 (Procter 42*, Olivier 3-34) by 53 runs

Yorkshire secured their place in Division One in the second phase of the County Championship with a 54-run defeat of Northamptonshire at Northampton. Lancashire will join them if they avoid defeat against Kent at Old Trafford. Next week's Roses match, though, will be far more than a private feud. It might yet influence the destination of the Championship.

As Steve Patterson, Yorkshire's captain, pointed out: "With the way the points system works - carrying points over from the qualifying teams you've played - it's important we get some kind of positive result against Lancashire if we can. We got beaten quite badly against them at Old Trafford." Lancashire will lack Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson, both summoned by England in extremis.

After his career-best 7 for 43 in the first innings, Dominic Bess was again the fulcrum in Yorkshire's attack but he had to settle for two wickets second time around as the rewards were shared, Northants falling 54 runs short of a target of 206.

Bess again bowled soundly, finding more turn than on the previous day, but just not seeing things run his way. It will not concern him. He cuts a more well-balanced, philosophical figure than the young spinner who was so shaken to be dropped on England's tour of India. When he returned to England, he bought a Bosnian rescue dog, a constant reminder that life, love - and real suffering - goes well beyond the game in which he makes his living.

"At the end of the day, we're playing sport," he reflected after his first-innings success. "There is obviously that expectation, we're playing professional sport, yes, we're playing for Yorkshire, we're playing for England, but it's not as important as we all think it is. I certainly felt that after coming back from India.

"What is pressure? Pressure is what you put on yourself. You can do certain things to limit the pressure you are under. Being accountable for my actions, how I hold myself, the consistency of my preparations, being a good person is the bigger picture. It's one thing to have a good one-off game but I think the consistency of it, being a good person, doing things well, doing things you believe in, is only going to help your consistency on the pitch."

Yorkshire's batting frailties have not been solved by this victory. Perhaps on this worn surface it was never likely that they would be. Two innings - George Hill's 71 in the first innings in his first foray at opening the batting, Harry Brook's 113 in the second - amounted to more than half the runs off the bat and their top six made six scores of 10 or fewer.

But there was no doubting their resolve in the second innings after the initial rush of new-ball wickets. Brook received staunch support from every batter in turn, enabling him to preside over affairs at the tempo he pleased. He now averages 41 in the Championship and that has been a major element in their qualification.

The match was still delicately poised when Yorkshire resumed at 159 for 6, a lead of 147. Brook was 95 when Patterson became the eighth batter to fall, but he remained reserved, pulling Taylor for a couple to reach 99 before running him to third man later in the over. A late flurry ended when he was caught at deep midwicket, leaving exemplary figures for another spinner, Simon Kerrigan, who wheeled away for 30.2 overs for 5 for 39. It was Brook's third first-class century and he will make many more.

Northants sank to 43 for 5 by the 18th over. For more than two days, batting had felt onerous and another 210 overs had been added to the three T20s that had been staged on a slightly unreliable surface.

Bess had two in that rush of wickets. There was more turn to be had, largely out of the footholds, and until he tired a little, he flighted the ball with a sense of wellbeing. Emilio Gay was at full stretch after advancing down the pitch and making room to clear the offside and the result was a good low catch by Sam Northeast at extra cover: on a two-match loan, he would have been relieved to contribute after two batting failures. Rob Keogh was given caught at short leg and hunted out a replay in aggrieved fashion.

Patterson relishes low-scoring days like these when there is assistance to be had. He has the attitude of a cost-controlling accountant, resenting any unnecessary expenditure that might undermine the final outcome. Ricardo Vasconcelos, lbw to one that seamed back from around the wicket, was a prize scalp in the seven overs before lunch; Charlie Thurston immediately after lunch when Gary Ballance pulled off a fast catch at short leg.

When Duanne Olivier made one bounce to have Saif Zaib caught at second slip, Northants needed to change their approach. Luke Procter had missed his first innings when he was absent from the second day because of a family bereavement. That he would attempt to grind his way forward could be taken as read, but the likes of Tom Taylor, Gareth Berg and Wayne Parnell needed to adopt a more enterprising approach.

In the event, only Taylor, a robust hitter of some quality, made an impression. That he would try to break Yorkshire's seamers was indicated when he lofted Ben Coad down the ground and then switched into T20 mode with a scoop. But he also assaulted Bess with a reverse sweep and sumptuous on-drive. When he fell lbw to Coad, swinging across the line, it was his first ill-judged shot. Berg was out without scoring, striking his fourth ball to short extra; Parnell fell to Jordan Thompson's direct hit on the stroke of tea.

At 103 for 8, a quick kill looked likely, only for a couple of former Lancashire players to do their best to stymie Yorkshire's celebrations. Procter and Kerrigan put on 49 in relative comfort until Kerrigan gloved a pull against Olivier. Northants, after a worthy first phase, including two cracking see-saw matches against Yorkshire are heading towards Division Two.

David Hopps writes on county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps