Ger Siggins

THERE have been plenty of Irishmen beavering away below the surface of English cricket over the last couple of weeks.

Shane Getkate played three T20s for MCC Young Cricketers against Sussex 2nds, making 52no, 21no and 9, and returning 3-0-23-1 in his only turn to bowl, taking the scalp of Stefan Piolet.

He also turned out for Sunbury against Banstead in the Surrey Premier League, with a return of 5-1-12-0.

Andy Balbirnieís match-winning century for Leinster Lightning drew plenty of praise, and he kicked on with a 52 for North Middlesex at Finchley in the Middlesex Premier League.

Back with the county 2nds he made 1 against the Club Cricket Conference and returned 3-0-9-0.

George Dockrell and Boyd Rankin renewed acquaintance when Warwickshire took on Somerset in a pair of 2nd XI T20s.

Returning from injury, Rankin bowled to a strong side that included Marcus Trescothick, Craig Kieswetter and Nick Compton, and returned 2-0-18-0 and 4-0-39-0.

For Somerset Dockrell bowled Scotlandís Freddie Coleman (4-0-25-1) and then opened the bowling in the second game (4-0-32-0).

Finally, Durhamís 2nd XI skipper Stuart Poynter played in three double header T20 games last week, making 4no and 8 v Derbyshire, not getting to bat in either game v Yorkshire, and then making 18 and 44no against Lancashire.

The latter knock took just 31 balls and featured five 4s. In the six games Poynter took three catches and four stumpings.

And at Cambridge, Patrick Tice (batting 8) made 26 against Oxford University in a two-day match, earning promotion for his first-class debut against Worcestershire this week.