MUCKAMORE have failed in an audacious bid to sign former Ireland international John Mooney for the second half of the NCU season.

Mooney was appointed fielding coach with Afghanistan by Phil Simmons at the beginning of last year but that contract ended, along with Simmons’ role as coach, with the Afghans’ elimination from the World Cup and Muckamore swooped to tempt the Dubliner, who played 182 times for Ireland until his retirement in 2015, back onto the field.

With Muckamore coach Bobby Rao a close friend of Mooney and captain Neil Gill a former team-mate at Ireland youth level, the Moylena club were hopeful of making the big-name signing but after “18 months on the road” and with a new addition to the family, Mooney told them it was the wrong time to resume his playing career.

Muckamore are currently in seventh place in the Premier League, with just one league win this season, and have already lost Marcus O’Riordan, their pre-season signing from Kent, who left the club in May.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s ill-luck with the weather for home T20 internationals continued yesterday when the first of the three-match series against Zimbabwe was abandoned without a ball bowled.

Overnight and morning rain delayed the scheduled 12.30 start and further heavy rain after 1pm, ended any hope of play at Stormont.

The teams now move on to Bready for the remaining games on Friday and Sunday, both starting at 4.00pm.

It is the fifth successive season when rain has washed out at least one T20 home international with Scotland at Bready the opponents in 2015, Oman in the World T20 qualifiers in 2016 and the final match of the Afghanistan series last year.