This week saw us qualify for T20 Finals day at Edgbaston for the second year in a row.
In the days leading up to the game against Worcestershire there was that added bit of extra pressure knowing that it was now the knockout phase of the competition.
We spoke before the game and were clear that the way to get through was to focus on the processes that had got us to this point. Finals day is now probably the biggest day in the season and I think has over taken the final of the one day competition, taking nothing away from that of course.
Its just a great day out and the fact that there are four teams involved is great for the fans. The game against Worcestershire was slightly more nerve racking than we would have liked.
After bowling first, we restricted them to 141. A pretty good total when around 150 was a par score for the wicket. Credit must go to our bowlers for the win.
The way Jade Dernbach bowled on his return from injury was immense, returning figures of 2-22 off his 4 overs. Then for 5 overs of our batting innings it was the Jason Roy show, as it has been so many times this year.
I have said on numerous occasions that I haven't seen a better T20 player in England at the minute and I really believe that's true. When Kevin O'Brien was here, he described him as the "best ball striker he has ever played with".
That is certainly lavish praise, considering some of the guys Kev has played with in world cricket. After Jason blasted 52 inside those 5 overs it should have been game, set and match but there was a slight wobble before we won the game in the 16th over, 7 wickets down.
Nonetheless, as a great Man Utd manager once said, when you aren't playing your best and still winning, that can only be a good thing. So on to Finals day and when the draw came out and we were playing Birmingham it didn't take long for the text message from Porty to come through. It would have been great to play them in the final.
There will of course be 4 Irish lads involved in that game. The first time we all played together was when we were on the under 13 Ireland team, 15 years ago. It should be a great day.
I was happy for Alistair Cook when England beat India in the 3rd test last week. He has taken a lot of abuse over the summer and it was great to see him get runs and get the win. Im sure it will have been a big load off his shoulders, both in his own runs column and to get the win. The best thing that he can do now is put more scores on the board, gradually the criticism of his captaincy will then go away. Let's not forget this guy has won an ashes series and an away series in India. He can't be that incompetent.
I spent the second half of Friday afternoon glued to the live scoring on CricketEurope to see how CSN were going in the challenge cup final. What a great win, obviously the weather played it's part but credit to Andrew Cowden who saw the boys over the line.
Not always known for his master stroke play but on this occasion he was the man. I hope the prestige of winning the cup is still the same as I remember it. I have played in three, winning one and losing two. They were all great occasions and the win against Waringstown at Downpatrick back in 2008 is still a great memory...The catch Corin Goodall took that day is still the best I have ever seen - bar none!
From the celebrations I have seen by the North boys it looks as though it means just as much today as it did then. Personally I quite liked the two innings finals, there was just something that made the competition that bit different and I believe they were great spectacles. I guess with the weather the way it is back home, they may well be a thing of the past!