David Lucas' fine bowling spell helped Northamptonshire move closer to promotion to LV County Championship Division One after they routed Leicestershire by an innings and 196 runs
The left-arm seamer returned figures of seven for 45 - the second-best of his career - as the visitors were all out for 186 and allow Northamptonshire to add 22 points to their season's total.
Northamptonshire now face an anxious wait to see if they have done enough for promotion, with Essex needing 19 points at Derbyshire to deny them a place in the top flight for the first time since 2004.
Essex's fading hopes are in Derbyshire's hands after the home side ended the third day at Derby on 108 for three and a lead of 221 runs.
Northamptonshire's victory means Essex have to win to deprive them but that depends on what target Derbyshire are prepared to set.
The remaining Division Two games saw Gloucestershire wrap up their sixth victory of the season inside three days against title-winners Kent at Bristol - but still miss out on promotion.
However, they finished on a high note after Steve Adshead's 114 had boosted their first innings total to 552 all out.
That gave Gloucestershire a lead of 288 and, despite teenager Sam Northeast making 128 not out - his maiden century for Kent - the visitors collapsed to 265 all out to lose by an innings and 23 runs.
Glamorgan were just 16 runs shy of equalling their best ever championship score when they declared on 702 for eight against Surrey at The Oval
Gareth Rees, Mark Cosgrove, Jim Allenby and Mark Wallace all scored centuries and they had reduced the hosts to 24 for one at the end of play to trail by 248 runs.