This week the column returns to a bumper haul of Irish activity across the sea. Two new names have dipped their toes, too, with Stuart Thompson playing a three-day game for Sussex 2nds against Kent at Preston Nomads.

It wasn’t been a happy experience so far for the Eglinton man, with his 14-2-68-0 coming from a total of 424-9 declared. Thompson – who played a few games for Somerset 2nds in 2012 – batted no.6 but was out for 4 off 29 balls.

In the second innings he made a duck. On Thursday in a 50 over match Thompson again failed to score as Sussex made 340-6 off their 50 overs, falling lbw to Fabian Cowdrey third ball.

Peter Chase returned to Durham, for whom he played a little last summer. On Saturday he turned out for the Durham Academy against South Northumberland where he made 1 and bowled 10-1-31-0.

Midweek he turned out alongside Stuart Poynter in the county 2nd XI’s win over MCC Young Cricketers, who included Shane Getkate in its line-up.

Poynter made 29 in a total of 373 (Chase dnb, Getkate 3-0-14-0), while the big Malahide man took 15-5-35-2 when MCC batted including Getkate for 24. In the second innings Stuey made an unbeaten 52, and although Chase didn’t take a wicket (7-1-31-0) Durham won by 72 runs. Getkate made 5 in the second innings and Poynter snapped up six catches in the match.

Since the last column Getkate has made 33 and 2-0-18-0 for Sunbury against Wimbledon in the Surrey Premier League. Coincidentally, it was Poynter who played for Sunbury last weekend when he visited his family in London. He made 83no off 76 balls against Teddington.

Last week Poynter also played for his north-east club Brandon, making 6 against Sacriston, while he also made 0 and 21 against Derbyshire in the Second Eleven championship.

Andrew Balbirnie played a couple of games since the last column, making 2 for Middlesex 2nds who beat Surrey 2nds in the SET, and making 6 for North Middlesex against Stanmore, for whom his bowling analysis was 14-3-39-2. Unfortunately a fractured finger knocked Balbirnie out of the Surrey v Middlesex three-dayer this week, and a planned outing for Pembroke against Merrion.

It meant he missed out on coming up against Kevin O’Brien who played a couple of 2nds 50-overs games for Surrey. Against Middlesex O’Brien batted No.3 and made 31 off 24 balls, while bowling 8-0-44-3, while last week he turned out against Somerset 2nds, who were captained by George Dockrell.

Against the Wyverns O’Brien made 19 and returned 10-0-27-1. Dockrell was less successful, his five overs going for 28 without success, and he nicked off first ball to Stuart Meaker for 0. Somerset also lost by 34 runs.

Ben Wylie turned out for Cambridge University Blues side against Arabs, scoring 24 and taking 2-4. He also opened the batting against Oxford at Lord’s in the one-day Varsity Match, making 18 and a bowling return of 10-1-55-1. In a three-day game against MCC he made an unbeaten 74.

Meanwhile Patrick Tice played a couple of games in the T20 student competition, making 18 in his only innings for Cambridge.

Meanwhile, Trent Johnston also had a taste of cricket over there, this time on the main pitch at Lord’s with MCC as the club revived the first game played at HQ 200 years ago.

TJ bowled eight overs took 3-33, all snapped up behind the stumps by Oxford University keeper Alex Martin who held five catches in all. Among his victims was former Middlesex batsman Kabir Toor and MCC beat Hertfordshire in the 40 overs match by seven wickets.