ANDREW BALBIRNIEíS 192 is the highest score made by an Irishman in second XI cricket, and tuned him up very nicely for his appointment in Malahide.

Balbirnieís innings at Radlett CC, ended by an lbw decision for Joe Gatting, helped his county to a total of 492.

He was joined by Paul Stirling, dropped from the first XI after just one championship game. The Ulsterman made 40 and 64 in the match, adding 124 with his Irish team-mate in a second innings stand for the fourth wicket.

Balbirnie made 26 in his first dig, while Irish-qualified Andy Gorvin made 3 and 6 for Hampshire in the 457 run defeat.

The Irish pair were less successful against Worcestershire with Balbirnie making 7 and 18 (and 2-0-8-0), with Stirling scoring 0 and 3.

Another Irishman out of favour is George Dockrell, who played for Somerset 2nds in four T20s during the week. Against Gloucestershire he scored 3 and bowled 4-0-16-1 in a 47 run defeat, followed by 25no and 4-0-15-4 in a 17 run win.

Somerset lost both games to Worcestershire, with Dockrell making 14no and 8, and returning similar figures of 4-0-31-0 and 4-0-31-1.

No sign of Peter Chase in action for Durham, but the other Irishmen turned out in two 2nd XI games. Stuart Poynter hotfooted it from his Ireland A century at Lordís to make 7 in the second innings against Scotland, while Barry McCarthy made 0 in his only knock.

The Pembroke man bowled economically without taking any wickets (14-3-37-0, 9-2-25-0). Durham lost to an Essex/Kent 2nd XI selection yesterday, with Poynter making 0 and 14 and McCarthy unbeaten in both innings for 5 and 1.

The all-rounder again bowled tightly, 1-24 off 11 overs and 1-32 off 13.

Mark Adair was on action for Warwickshire against Northants, taking 1-56 off 12 overs against Northants and scoring 13no. Playing for Moseley in the national T20 competition he went in No.5 and made 4 not out, and bowl as the club beat Kidderminster Victoria by 102 runs.

In the Birmingham & District Premier League he took the first four wickets to fall for 1, 0, 0 and 0 as Barnardís Green were rocked. But despite ending with 10-1-42-5 Moseley lost by one wicket.

There were a few Irishmen in action in the student competitions, with Loughborough victorious over Cardiff by 116 runs in the BUCS Premier League. Robert McKinley scored 7no and bowled 7-1-18-3 while Bobby Gamble made an unbeaten 3 and took 10-1-34-3.

Gamble was also in action for his home club Plumtree in the Nottinghamshire Premier League, returning figures of 15-4-73-1 (taking the wicket of ex-Notts player Josh Mierkalns) and scoring 14no.

In the MCC Universities Championship Patrick Tice made 11 out as Cambridge chased down 416 to beat Durham in the fourth innings.