Nightwatchman Simon Kerrigan survived the morning session without much difficulty, but Lancashire were pegged back by four wickets for Durham’s Barry McCarthy.
Resuming on 205 for four, Kerrigan advanced to 44 with Lancashire on 299 for eight at lunch on the two-paced pitch at Emirates Riverside.
They still trail by 112 with hopes of a first innings lead shattered by a burst of three for seven in 14 balls by Irishman McCarthy.
With seven overs to be bowled before the new ball was taken, he opened up and had Steven Croft lbw in the fifth over with a ball which skidded on to the Lancashire captain, who made 35.
Otherwise there were few alarms for the visitors, even when Graham Onions and James Weighell took the new ball.
Kerrigan’s only scare came on 24, when he edged Weighell where third slip should have been, Durham having opted for two men out on the leg side.
McCarthy returned for the 92nd over and struck twice in the 98th. Alex Davies had made exactly half of a stand of 62 when he reached for a full-length ball wide of off stump and got a big inside edge into his timber.
Liam Livingstone drove his first ball past mid-off for four but three balls later a perfect away swinger took the edge on the way to wicketkeeper Michael Richardson.
Just before the break extra bounce accounted for Tom Bailey, giving Ryan Pringle his third catch at third slip.