|LV County Championship Division Two, Chelmsford|
|Essex 183 & 331-9 dec beat Northants 99 & 244 by 171 runs|
|Essex 19pts, Northants 3pts|
Division Two leaders Northants suffered their first defeat of the season as they went down by 171 runs inside three days to Essex at Chelmsford.
Spinner Tom Craddock took 4-70 on his Championship debut as Northants, 37-1 overnight, were bowled out for 244.
Rob White (43) and Ben Howgego (41) looked well set when they took their second-wicket stand to 83 in the opening session.
But, once they had gone, 21-year-old leg-spinner Craddock did the damage.
Alex Wakely and Andrew Hall also failed to make the most of encouraging starts, both entering the 30s before they were removed.
Wakely became the third lbw victim of the innings, this time against off-spinner Tom Westley, a dismissal which ended a stand of 53, before Hall was bowled by Craddock.
That signalled a maiden Championship wicket for Craddock, currently on a two-month trial after impressing against Essex while playing for the Unicorns earlier in the season.
And he was to stamp his mark with three further wickets as he pressed his claims for a long-term contract against the county for whom he had a trial last season.
The Huddersfield born youngster, who has been playing for Leeds/Bradford MCCU for the past three seasons, joined in Essex earlier this month, having also had trials with Kent and Worcestershire.