The fourth day, interrupted by 50 minutes of afternoon rain with Northants at 206 for nine chasing 220, ended with the unbeaten hosts winning a third straight Group Three fixture to consolidate second place behind Lancashire.
Northants’ South African overseas all-rounder Wayne Parnell stood out in an absorbing contest littered with batting, bowling and fielding frailties.
But he was caught behind off Patterson’s seam having made 33, leaving Northants crestfallen at 218 all out at 3.45pm. He had earlier taken five wickets in each innings.
Northants started on 94 for four, needing 126 with left-handers Luke Procter and Saif Zaib unbeaten.
Yorkshire struck twice in the opening hour to leave them at 136 for six, needing 84 more.
Northampton-born David Willey had Procter caught behind for 27 and Patterson trapped Tom Taylor lbw for one.
The latter came four balls after controversy when Taylor edged Willey low to Tom Kohler-Cadmore at first slip in the day’s 11th full over - the 39th of the innings.
Umpires Nick Cook and David Millns reprieved an unmoved Taylor before replays suggested a clean catch.
When Taylor departed without further addition, Willey let him know his feelings on the decision not to walk.
Northants lost their seventh wicket on 146 when Zaib edged Duanne Olivier low to Kohler-Cadmore at first slip for 25. There was no doubt about the validity of that catch.
Only a crowd would have made this fixture more engrossing.
Parnell and Gareth Berg shared 32 for the eighth wicket either side of lunch and both were dropped. Parnell’s was by Kohler-Cadmore off Patterson on 17 early in the afternoon.
But Willey had Berg caught behind moments later for 16 as the Northants equation became 42 with two wickets remaining at 178 for eight.
Parnell found another ally in Simon Kerrigan, sharing 28 for the ninth wicket.
Olivier then got the latter caught at second slip by Adam Lyth with 14 required - 206 for nine. Rain intervened immediately, forcing an early tea at 3.05pm.
Upon the resumption, last man Ben Sanderson and Parnell both hit boundaries off Olivier, with Parnell opting to farm the strike as much as possible.
With two to win, in the 74th over of the innings, he was stuck on the crease by Patterson and feathered behind to a relieved and then jubilant Jonny Tattersall.
This was only Yorkshire’s second one-run win in Championship history.