LANCASHIRE coach Ashley Giles admits he was proud of his side in defeat as East Lancashire star Tom Smith just failed to inspire a dramatic County Championship victory over Durham at Southport.
The home side went into the last day needing 10 wickets to win the match while Durham were chasing down a victory target of 247.
And Chorley's Smith almost turned the match in Lancashire's favour with a breathtaking spell which saw him take 4-12 in eight overs before tea as Durham slipped from 170-2 to 195-7.
But in the end the visitors, helped by England star Ben Stokes, had enough to get over the line.
Despite the loss Giles was taking the positives from defeat.
He said: "It's been a great spectacle for everyone who's come to watch here at Southport. Disappointing for us being on the wrong side of it and being so close.
"I thought the last two days we've played some good cricket. To give up an 87-run lead first innings and bat as we did led by Luke Procter and then fight back was great.
"The pitch didn't deteriorate quite as much as we thought it might, but there was always a ball in it.
"I think you felt when you were batting that there were times when it went flat but then times when wickets fell in clumps.
"Overall, disappointed but proud of the team for what they've done over the last two days. They've fought really hard."
Durham moved to second place in the table as a result of the nail-biting victory.
Smith took five wickets on the final day but Ben Stokes and Adam Hickey all but saw Durham home with a 48-run stand inside 12 overs for the eighth wicket.
Stokes was run out for 36 off 43 balls with four runs needed before Chris Rushworth hit the winning runs off Kyle Jarvis in the 78th over of the innings.
Durham are now second in Division One, 13 points behind Middlesex with a game in hand having played nine.
Smith finished with 5-25 from 16 overs, his first five-for since 2014 - against Durham at Emirates Old Trafford.
Lancashire are now fourth in the table, 20 points off the summit.