While the county stars get plenty of attention, there are plenty of Irish and Irish-qualified players bubbling around just below the surface in English cricket. CountyWatch Extra will keep an eye on them this summer.

The big news this week was the startling seasonís debut innings of Paul Stirling, who took his own countyís attack apart in a T20 warm-up for Sunbury CC. The north London club that produced the Poynters has been a regular haunt of Irish players in recent years, with Andy Balbirnie a regular when not needed by Middlesex.

After Eoin Morgan made 86no from 59 balls, he was trumped by Stirling who made 108no off 64 balls, hitting 13 fours and 3 sixes.

Stirling put on 69 in six overs with Shane Getkate, who made a sparkling 25no.

Balbirnie wasnít playing in that game, but turned out for Middlesex 2nds against Warwickshire at Moseley, making 29, while Paul Stirling made 11.

Both players got starts in the second innings too, without wither kicking on - Balbirnie scoring 19 and Stirling 10.

Graeme McCarter was in action for Gloucestershire against Surrey in the 2nd XI Championship, but his 30 overs over the two innings were wicketless.

Stuart Poynter has been captaining Durham 2nds this season, but was unable to prevent his county falling to defeat to a strong Kent/Essex selection. No less than three former Test players were in the opposition, which was captained by another keeper/batsman, Geraint Jones.

Poynter was out for 14 and 0, the second time c Cowdrey b Mahmood.

Shane Getkate was back with the MCC Young Cricketers during the week, playing against Notts in the 2nd XI Trophy. He made 5no and took 2-41 off his eight overs.