ANDREW Gale has reflected on a frustrating end to what he believes has been an encouraging season for Yorkshire.

The White Rose were beaten by five wickets against Nottinghamshire shortly after lunch on day four at Trent Bridge, ending the LV= Insurance County Championship with six wins, three defeats and five draws from their 14 games.

Yorkshire were the only county to reach the knockout stages of both limited overs competition and qualify for Division One in the Championship: “But what’s missing off the list is a trophy, and that’s what we play for,” accepted the coach.

“It’s just taken the gloss off what I would think has been a decent season - to be in the hunt two weeks ago to win the Championship and lose two games in a row,” said Gale.

“If I’m being honest, I don’t think the lads were quite on it this week.

“The disappointment of the week before (Warwickshire at Emerald Headingley), we didn’t just want to turn up and go through the motions. But it felt like that at times.

“Again, first-innings batting, getting bowled out for 70. I said it at the start of the season, ‘When you play against the best teams, they’ll roll all over you’.

“We did what we usually do, fight back hard and give ourselves a chance, but it was just too late in the game.

“Give Notts credit, I thought they bowled better than us.

“I certainly thought 300 was well above par. I thought we should have bowled them out for 200-220.

“But it wasn’t a 70 all out pitch. One guy has got to scrap hard and make 60 or 70 and you have to make 160 or 170. To be rolled out for 70, it wasn’t good enough.

“For us to have any chance of winning today, we had to have a real strong first half hour. If we could have got two or three wickets, we were right in the ball game.

“That catch cost us (Harry Duke dropping Ben Slater on 19), but catching in the game did.

“Lythy dropped a couple in the first innings, which is uncharacteristic of him.”

Gale reserved high praise for Adam Lyth’s second-innings 153, his third Championship hundred of the season but first since April.

“Lythy had a great start to the summer and got himself back into contention for an England place,” continued Gale. “For whatever reason, he hasn’t had the season he would have liked for the last three months.

“I had a good chat with him the day before the game, and we were going to leave him out. But Gary (Ballance) went down ill, so Lythy got his chance to finish on a high. That’s a real positive.

“He showed all his class, and that’s what we’ve been crying out for since April - one of the openers getting a big hundred.”

On the season overall, which has seen Yorkshire win 17 of 37 games across all three competitions, Gale added: “I think we’ve got the third most wins in the country across the board in all formats. So that’s a positive.

“I think we have shown improvement. We are going in the right direction.

“We still have the same problems with our first-innings batting. Two years ago, that’s why we signed Dawid Malan. Look at where his career’s gone since.

“It’s crying out for two experienced players in that middle order. Between Dawid and Gary Ballance, you have 70 first-class hundreds.

“It’s no coincidence that in two games Gary has missed this year - Lancashire away and here - it’s exposed us.

“We have made good progression, and some of the young lads have shown what they can do. But we’ve got to start being more consistent.”