DURHAM skipper Paul Collingwood admitted it was tough going for his side as they had to settle for a draw against Somerset.
Having lost day three to bad weather, Durham were still hopeful of forcing a positive result.
And the home side made some early inroads into the visitors’ batting line-up. But they came up against a brick wall in the form of England players Nick Compton and Craig Kieswetter.
Compton (100) and Craig Kieswetter (78) guided Somerset from a parlous 92-4 to 246-4 by the close as they staged an unbeaten partnership of 154 to deny the reigning champions victory.
Compton’s 208-ball hundred included 14 fours.
Set an unlikely 337 to win in 82 overs by Collingwood, they slipped to 41-2.
Chris Rushworth did the early damage for Durham, accounting for opener Marcus Trescothick lbw for just five from the Lumley End before switching to the Finchale End to trap Chris Jones in similar fashion for 24 to leave the visitors on 45 for two at lunch.
And the visitors looked to be in real trouble when Usman Arshad sent first Alviro Petersen, caught by Scott Borthwick at second slip for 23 to end a stand of 47 for the third wicket, and then James Hildreth back to the pavilion.
However, it was then that Compton and Kieswetter took control.
Collingwood was quick to praise the Somerset pair.
He said: “You can see what two international-class batsmen can do on a pitch where it’s pretty flat, there’s no turn and there’s no swing. You can see how they apply themselves, and it was tough to get them out.
“We are putting teams under pressure for long periods, but we are just not quite finishing them off.”
Meanwhile, Collingwood hinted that he may not be ready to call it a day just yet after earlier suggesting this season could be his last as a player.
He said: “Anything is possible. If I have a great year and I really enjoy it, and I’m not holding guys back in the team, and we have still got enough money here at Durham, and all that kind of stuff, then I’ll continue, maybe.”
Somerset skipper Trescothick hailed Compton as “world-class” after his display.
Compton’s achievement was all the more impressive as he did it after undergoing treatment for a neck injury, which had threatened to limit his participation.
Trescothick said: “It was a brilliant knock. Getting a hundred here at the Riverside is always tough, but he has been struggling with a neck injury for the last few days.
“We have done everything we can. Our medical team has worked tirelessly to get him back in the position because we can see what he can do, we know what kind of players he is – a world-class player – when he gets into that environment.
“If we can just get him good enough, and fit enough to get out on to the park, then we know can do well.”
H Yorkshire completed an innings and 120-run victory over Northamptonshire before lunch on the final day, picking up the final six wickets they required in the morning session to claim their first win of the new campaign.