IT’S been three weeks since our last CountyWatch Extra column, mainly because most of those who usually fill it for me with their deeds have been hors d’county combat due to Ireland’s participation in the World Twenty20 Qualifier.

A few of the Irish were left behind, notably Tim Murtagh and Ed Joyce who have retired from the shortest format, but Barry McCarthy of Durham has made the most of the last three weeks.

McCarthy took 3-32 against Kent 2nd XI in the semi-final of the Second Eleven Twenty20 competition at Arundel Castle last week, but despite boxing an 11-ball 16 (2 fours), Durham fell 23 runs short.

This week he played both Championship (three-day) and Trophy (50 over) against Lancashire at Middlewich. He wasn’t required to bat in either innings of the time game, which ended with Durham getting the better of a draw having declared twice.  With the ball he returned 16-4-59-1 and 14-1-46-1.

Durham won the Trophy game by seven wickets to reach the final, with McCarthy getting a bit of early stick in bowling 3-0-27-0.

The Pembroke man also played three games in the North-East Premier League, making just 9 as his club Gateshead Fell collapsed to 77 all out against Benwell Hill. But McCarthy opened the bowling and his stunning figures of 13.4-7-11-7 helped the Fell to win by two runs. He took 0-12 off six the next week against South Northumberland, but his score of 7 was about par as the club collapsed to 78 all out.

Gateshead’s batsmen rallied last weekend, making 207-9 against Newcastle (McCarthy 10), but despite McCarthy’s 3-62 (including bowling ex-Leicestershire and Easterns’ Jacques du Toit) his side lost by three wickets.

Andy Gorvin has been in action for Hampshire’s 2nd XI in the 50 over trophy, making a fine 40 in 31 balls against a Sussex attack that included Michael Yardy and Chris Liddle. He made 4 in the three-day game.

YMCA’s Bobby Gamble has shown remarkable stamina to keep going this season, and played six times over the last fortnight. Only three of his 52 games this season have been for YM, but he has already accumulated 85 wickets and bowled almost 600 overs.

For Somerset’s 2nd XI he took 1-19 off four overs v MCC Young Cricketers in a 50 overs game, and 3-26 and 3-42, and 21 with the bat, in the three-dayer. Gamble also took 3-43 against Notts 2nds, all to catches by keeper Alex Barrow who claimed six of the first seven victims.

For Plumtree he  took 0-22 and 2-25 in league games (and 12 and 33no since being pushed up the order) and 1-17 and 8 against the Nottinghamshire Cricket Board.

Mark Adair has also been in the wickets – 56 so far this summer – for Warwickshire 2nds.

He took 4-19 and scored 23 against Unicorns in the knockout cup, and then turned out against Hong Kong as the associate warmed up for Stormont with a tie. Adair dismissed top batsmen Irfan Ahmed and Mark Chapman in 4-0-29-3 and was run out for 0 off the last ball of the innings trying to force a win. He also took 1-39 off seven against Yorkshire 2nds.

Adair also turned out three times for Moseley in recent weeks, 3-19 against Harborne, 4-12 (and 11) against Barnard’s Green, and 1-16 (and 8) versus Old Hill.