MORE of the Irish squad have been picking up some experience of playing in English conditions. This week Stuart Thompson has been playing for Surrey 2nds at Guildford, after a disappointing foray with Sussex last year. (

He turned out in a 50 over game against Gloucestershire and came in No7 where he made a run-a-ball 16 with a solitary boundary, perhaps known as a Guildford Four. Thompson then came on to bowl the 15th over but started with two wides. His four overs went for 25.

He kept his place for the three-day game against the same county, and came in with the score a healthy 306-4 but batted fluently to pile the pressure on the visitors.

Thompson was eventually out for 61 off 66 balls (7x4s, 1x6) and Surrey went on to make a 475 off less than 94 overs. Thompson's first two balls went for four but he recovered to return 6-1-22-0 as Glorse were bowled out for 135 and asked to follow on.

The Eglinton man opened the bowling second time around and had a tidy first spell (6-3-14-0) before rain wiped out the second afternoon. Thompson returned for another five tight overs in the evening but failed to take a wicket as they closed on 171-1. On day three there was some resistance but Thompson ended with 16-5-50-0 in a victory by an innings and 44 runs.

Bobby Gamble missed out on the Leinster Senior Cup final last Saturday to play for Plumtree in the Notts Premier League fixture against Ordsall Bridon.

Gamble made an unbeaten 17 off 16 balls as Plumtree racked up 279-7and Ordsall Bridon were 192-8 off 40 when the match was abandoned with Gamble's bowling figures 6-0-33-0.

Gamble was down with Somerset midweek as their bid for the Second Eleven Trophy continued against Essex. His 8-0-39-0 was the most economical bowling as Essex made 311-4 with George Dockrell picking up the wicket of centurion Imtiaz in 10-0-58-1.

Somerset made a great fist of the chase but lost wickets as the target neared, including Dockrell for 5. Gamble came in next, with 14 balls left and 24 needed. He helped bring it down to nine wanted off four balls with him on strike – and took three: 2, 4, 4 to record a fine win for the Cidermen.

Gamble ended with 17no off seven balls. The Irish bowlers were the best on show in the three-day game against Essex at Taunton Vale.

Gamble struck twice in his opening spell on the first morning, including Imtiaz for 0 (caught by Marcus Trescothick), and went on to take 23.3-10-54-5.

Captain George Dockrell also picked up 17-7-32-2. Dockrell was also on song with the bat, smashing 95 off 92 balls (4 sixes, 9 fours) in a 7th wicket stand of 176 with Michael Bates.

Gamble added 50 with the same batter before he was out for 22. The YM man struck early with the ball once again, and finished with 15-4-43-3, to leave him with at least 98 wickets for the summer. Dockrell took 1-26 off eight overs as Essex were all out for 174 and slumped to a nine wicket defeat.

And another Ireland ‘A’ player has also been in action in the English leagues. Ben Ackland has been working in the UK as part of his university commitments in qualifying to be a teacher. He has turned out half a dozen times for Shapwick and Polden, who play in the West of England Premier League Premier Two.

It’s a good standard league – in his first game he was dismissed by former South African test bowler Charl Willoughby. Last weekend he made 25 against Goatacre as Shapwick and Polden won only their second of 14 games this season and remain rooted to the bottom of table. Ackland was stumped off the bowling of Zimbabwean first-class professional Tendai Maruma for 25 and bowled 10-1-27-1.

This week he plays against Keynsham, who feature Trinity’s 2013-14 pro Josh Tasman-Jones, who has made scores of 193, 179 and 127 this summer.

Sonny Cott was one of the few to excel in the recent U19 World Cup qualifiers, and we came across another sterling batting display in a schools match back home in Surrey. He made 139 out of 188 in a first wicket stand for Reed’s School against Tiffin. His partner went to make 100no as the school totalled 375-1, with the No3, Dan Douthwaite hitting a century in a positively Sorensonian 31 balls.

Carlton again featured two Irishmen in their side for the Scottish Eastern Premier League clash with Aberdeenshire. Rory McCann (38) and Cameron Shoebridge (1) – both bowled by TJ Buchan – contributed to a greater or lesser extent to the total of 240-8 off 50 overs.

Shoebridge then took 2-25 off seven overs as the Dons were dismissed for 178. McCann’s dismissal reduces his league average from 265 to a mere 151.50.