A batting friendly Cobham Oval wicket saw the match between the Northern Knights and the Otago Volts end in a draw with the visitors claiming first inning points.
Otago started the day on 342 for three and quickly lost Nathan McCullum without adding to his overnight score of 88 but Greg Todd kicked on to make 91.
Derek de Boorder hit 18 and Nick Beard added 24 not out before the declaration came with the scorecard reading 576 for eight, leaving the Knights with a 111 run deficit.
Graeme Aldridge was the most successful Knights bowler with four for 151, including the scalp of Craig Cumming for 160 yesterday.
The Otago attack picked up regular wickets throughout the day with the Northern batsmen getting middling scores.
James Marshall made 34 while brother Hamish top scored with an unbeaten on 39.
Spinner Nick Beard took three for 31 off 16 overs while strike bowler Neil Wagner chimed in with two for 53.
The match petered out to a draw with the Knights moving 101 runs clear of Otago and seven wicket down.
The Northern Knight lost first innings so don’t gain any points from the match but still have an eight point lead over second placed Canterbury with one round to play.
Otago are back in fourth spot and out of the running and will being playing for pride in their final match against the Wellington Firebirds.
Day 3: Otago Volts lead by 21 runs with 7 wickets in hand
Solid batting from the Otago Volts top order has secured first innings points after the visitors hit 486 for three in reply to the Northern Knights first innings total of 465.
Centuries from top order batsmen Craig Cumming and Darren Broom set the platform with unbeaten half centuries from Greg Todd and Nathan McCullum pushing the total past Northern’s first innings effort.
Cumming and Broom put on 247 for the second wicket with Cummings 160 is his 18th First Class ton while Broom’s 119 is his first.
McCullum who is on 88 not out came to the crease at 342 for three and put took their score through to 465 with Todd making 51 not out.
The pair will resume tomorrow for Otago with a draw looking like the most likely result.
Day 2: Otago Volts trail by 300 runs with 9 wickets in hand
The Northern Knights have one hand on the Plunket Shield after their first innings score of 465 has them firmly in front against the Otago Volts.
Brad Wilson took his overnight score of 87 through to 107 and shared a valuable 120 run partnership with wicketkeeper batsman Peter McGlashan. It was Wilsons third First Class ton and included 14 boundaries.
McGlashan was the next best contributor with a classy 71.
The tail wagged for the Knights with Graeme Aldridge adding 37 not out, Bradley Scott 14 and Bruce Martin an unbeaten 15 before the declaration came on 465 for nine.
Otago spinners Nick Beard and Nathan McCullum bagged three wickets each with new ball bowlers Neil Wagner and Matthew Harvie picking up one apiece.
The Otago Volts runs chase has started positively with openers Craig Cumming and Shaun Haig putting on 94 for the first wicket.
Haig went for 42 with Cumming resuming tomorrow just ten runs short of his 18th First Class ton.
Darren Broom is the other unbeaten batsman on 21 with the Volts on 165 for one at stumps.
Spinner Kane Williamson was took the only wicket to fall.
* Image of Northern Knights batsman, Brad Wilson
Day 1: Northern Knights 325/6 batting first
Another solid batting display from the Northern Knights has them in control of the Plunket Shield match against the Otago Volts at Cobham Oval in Whangarei.
Openers Michael Parlane (60) and Daniel Flynn (65) put on 113 for the first wicket before Kane Williamson added 33.
James Marshall made 41 with Brad Wilson anchoring the innings with an unbeaten 87. He will resume tomorrow with Peter McGlashan (21*) with the home team on 325.
Spinner Nick Beard toiled honestly and was rewarded with figures of three for 66 with fellow spinner Nathan McCullum next best with two for 77.