The best news of the week outside the first-class game in England was the return to action of Tim Murtagh. The Middlesex and Ireland seamer played a two-day game for the county against Afghanistan at Wormsley, and was quick into the action.

Opening the bowling, Murtagh dismissed Nowroz Mangal in his second over, and ended with 10-2-44-2. The game was a fairly pointless two-day game in which both sides batted for a full day. Murtagh captained the side, the third Irish international to lead the 2nds this season!

Another of those skippers, Andy Balbirnie, made 39 off 43 balls.

William Porterfield was dropped by Warwickshire, and played a 3-day game and a T20 for the seconds against Lancashire. He got back in run-scoring mood too, making 41 (losing his wicket to ex-England man Sajid Mahmood) and 81 in a game that was drawn with scores level.

Mark Adair also played for Warks, bowling 21-3-106-0 and 11-0-34-2.

In the first T20 Porterfield made 8 while Adair returned 3-0-20-1. The Ireland skipper sat out the second game, in which Adair was out first ball as Warks collapsed to 90 all out. The former Glendermott, Holywood and CSN seamer took 1-12 off 1.4 overs.

Rush’s Ireland U-17 player Stephen Doheny is spending a month in Taunton as part of an exchange between his school, CUS, and Queen’s College. He was invited to play for Bishop’s Lydeard against the league leaders, North Perrott, in the West of England Premier Cricket League (Somerset Division).

Bishop’s Lydeard’s captain is called Justin Hayward, and as he was out second ball for nought he was probably a little moody, perhaps even a little blue, but he knew he had to Go Now. Happily for Justin, coming in at No.3 was a Knight in White Flannel, and the Rushian went on to add 139 for the second wicket, ending with 108 off 125 balls. Doheny hit 8 fours and a six in his innings as he led his side to 227-8, which was unfortunately not enough. Doheny’s five overs cost 34 runs.

Barry McCarthy was in action for Gateshead Fell last weekend, bowling 17-2-48-2 and scoring 23 but the game against Stockton was tied.

He also played a brace of T20s for Durham Twos against Yorkshire, with 2-0-12-0 and 2-0-18-0 while Stuart Poynter picked up three catches and a stumping over the two games. Poynter made 9 and 4 with the bat, and McCarthy 9 in his only innings.

Andy Gorvin kept wicket for the Hampshire Academy against Burridge in the Southern Electric Premier Cricket League Premier Division but made a duck when he batted.

Bobby Gamble was home in Nottinghamshire for the weekend and turned out in two big wins for Plumtree in the Nottinghamshire Cricket Board Premier League. He didn’t bat or bowl against Ordsall Bridon, but bowled six wicketless overs for 13 against Attenborough.

Gamble also played twice for Loughborough MCCU against Oxford University during the week, losing the 50 over game by 40 runs but winning on first innings in the two-day match. In the limited overs game Gamble bowled 5-0-46-0, while Robert McKinley took 3-50 off his ten overs. McKinley scored 10 with the bat, and Gamble 7.

In the two-dayer, umpired by erstwhile LCU official Inga Bevers, Gamble made 18 in his only knock while McGinley made 11 and 30 not out. Gamble took 1-42 off 20 overs and McKinley 1-47 off 11.

George Dockrell played for Taunton St Andrews against Taunton Deane in the West of England Premier League, scoring 56 and bowling 10-2-39-1.

He was in the runs when he captained Somerset to two T20 victories over Glamorgan, scoring 32 and taking 4-22 off four overs as his team won by 40 runs, then taking 1-27 off four before he was caught behind first ball.

Somerset were too strong for the same side in a game scheduled for three-days but over in two. Again he made a golden duck, and bowled 8-2-27-0 as Somerset won by an innings and nine runs.