David Ripley paid tribute to his bowlers after they put in another fine first-innings display today.
The four-pronged seam attack of Trent Copeland, David Willey, Andrew Hall and Steven Crook bowled their side into an excellent position in Cardiff before rain thwarted their attempts to beat Glamorgan last week.
But they carried on where they left off in the principality as first-class cricket made its seasonal bow at Wantage Road.
They reduced Essex to 183 all out on the opening day of ther LV= County Championship clash and once again put the side in a dominant position.
Ripley said: “It was very pleasing especially as we it wasn’t like we rolled into them right away.
“They were something like 60-1 at one stage but we kept going.
“It was nice that when we took one wicket we kept our foot in the door and followed it with two or three.
“There was a bit of a counterattack from Graham Napier – who batted very well - which dented it a bit.
“But if you had offered us 183 all out at the start we would have taken it.
“The decision to bowl first wasn’t a cut and dried one.
“The wicket had a bit at both ends but it was more the overhead conditions that swung the decision.
“Having made the choice it was great to see the bowlers make the most of it again and follow up their efforts in Cardiff.”
Northamptonshire finished the day on 156-5 – 27 runs behind Essex.