THE Irishmen operating in the county 2nd XIs have been quiet lately through a mixture of injury and call ups by first XIs and Irish provinces.

Paul Stirling looks set for a good run in Middlesex’s team in all formats, but has also turned out for Sunbury in the Surrey Championship, scoring 33 against Guilford.

Shane Getkate was back with MCC YC, making 6 against Glamorgan in the 50 over trophy and 7 and 6 in the 3-day game. He bowled 8-0-46-0 in the overs game but didn’t turn his arm over at all in the SEC.

Graeme McCarter has bedded down in the 20 over side at Gloucestershire but has slipped out of the reckoning in the county championship.

He played for the county’s 2nd XI against Yorkshire at Bristol, bowling 10-0-63-0 as they shipped 305 in the 50 over game.

In the 3-day game he scored 24 from No.11 as he helped boost the total from 140-9 to 188 all out. He then whipped out the Yorkies’ top three in his first seven overs, ending with 28-3-119-4. As the game rambled to a draw he was promoted to bat No.4, but was out first ball.

The north-west man also turned out twice for a Bristol club called Thornbury – former stomping ground of the great W G Grace – and bowled 10-1-38-3 and scored 13 against Clevedon, and 10-2-50-1 and 9 against Cheltenham.

After a week’s cricket in Ireland, Andrew Balbirnie was back with Middlesex 2nds, taking on Lancashire in a 4-dayer at Northwood. He made a patient 23 as the county built a first innings lead, and missed out, scoring 3, as they won by four wickets. Although Middlesex used nine bowlers in the second innings, Balbirnie wasn’t one of them.

Mark Adair missed out on a couple of Ireland U19 caps to turn out for Warwickshire 2nds last week. He bowled in the 50over trophy against Notts, returning 6-0-60-1, but claiming the wicket of former England test player Ajmal Shahzad.

The three-day game must have been torture for the youngster, as Notts racked up 485-1, but his 11-2-55-0 was nowhere near the worst return. Sadly that was the end of his involvement, as he wasn’t asked to bat in the pick-12/bat-11 format and Nottinghamshire cantered to a nine-wicket win after asking Warks to follow-on.

Against Lancashire he returned 11-5-34-0 before taking 16-5-42-4 as his side lost by three wickets. His scalps included Stephen Parry who played ODIs and T20is for England over the winter.

Adair also turned for the Harborne club in the Birmingham and District Premier League, taking 11-0-31-2 against Moseley and 7-0-60-1 against Wellington, for whom he scored 22 not out.

Stuart Poynter earned his call up to Durham’s first XI to play Sri Lanka A at the weekend, a side he will get to know even more this week!

In his last 2nd XI game, against Leicestershire, he made 10 and 36 and held five catches. He also turned out twice for the Brandon club, making 33 against South Hetton and 11 against South Shields.