THE county second XI season is drawing to a close, but there could well be some Irish players involved in the championship final which starts on Monday at Radlett when Middlesex take on Nottinghamshire.

The final of the 50-over Second Eleven Trophy took place last Thursday at the Emirates in Chester-le-Street, when Stuart Poynter and Barry McCarthy were on the Durham 2nd XI side that lost to Derbyshire.

McCarthy opened the bowling and returned 9-0-48-1 including the wicket of experienced county player Ben Slater. With ex-England man Phil Mustard in the team, Poynter wasn’t behind the stumps, and took the wicket of Tom Knight with a direct hit.

Derby made 247-8, but while six of Durham’s top seven made at least 23, none went past 41. Poynter made 35 off 41 balls before he was bowled by Wes Durston. McCarthy also hit two boundaries as he made 15 off 17 balls but Durham ended up ten runs short.

The pair were again in action in a three-day friendly at Preston Nomads against Sussex 2nds this week. Durham made 269 (Poynter 35, McCarthy 1) and bowled Sussex out for 223 (McCarthy 12-4-31-1). Then Durham were all out for 196 (Poynter 5, McCarthy 17), setting Sussex 243 to win, which they achieved for the loss of six wickets.

George Dockrell captained Somerset in a similar three-day friendly, against Yorkshire at Taunton Vale which finished on Friday. Dockrell made 18 as the Cidermen were all out for 388 in the first innings. The Yorkies were 104-4 when he brought himself on, and was rewarded with a wicket in his first over. He ended with 20-3-33-2 as Yorkshire declared on 303-9.

The Irishman made 24 off 12 balls (2 fours, 2 sixes) as Somerset hurried to declare on 271-6, and then took 1-36 off five as time ran out with Yorkshire on 187-4.

A former Ireland cricketer was in action on the English national T20 club finals day at the Swalec Stadium on Tuesday.

Stephen Ogilby, formerly of Bready, went in number eight for Chester Boughton Hall, who were all out for 82 in 18 overs in the semi-final against Ealing. Ogilby top scored with 19 off 21 balls (3 fours) before he was last man out, stumped.

Ealing were too strong, with ex-Middlesex man Chris Peploe (40no) and current Middlesex man Ollie Wilkin (29no) ensuring they won by ten wickets in 12 overs. Peploe made an unbeaten 70 in the final when Ealing chased 178 to win by eight wickets.

Bobby Gamble was also pitted against some experienced county and international cricketers for Plumtree at the weekend. The Notts Premier League side lost to the West Indian Cavaliers club, who featured Usman Afzaal, Bilal Shafiyat and Corey Collymore. The WIC made 168, with Gamble taking 9.2-0-50-2. He then batted 24 overs as Plumtree inched towards their target, making 28 off 74 balls but they ended 17 short.

Sonny Cott made 9 opening the batting for Leatherhead at the Poynters’ old club Sunbury on Saturday. He was out bowled by ex-Middlesex player John Maunders as Sunbury won on DLS.

Andy Gorvin made 39 for Havant against Bashley (Rydal) in a game later washed out.

And Ben Ackland’s Shapwick and Polden club were in action at Taunton Vale, where Merrion and Ireland ‘A’ man made 51 off 50 balls as his side made 265-7. Ackland took 2-50 off ten overs as Taunton CC were bowled out for 250.

Mark Adair was also in action for Moseley CC in the Birmingham and District Premier League, taking 6-0-15-1 against Oswestry who were all out for 146. He wasn’t required to bat in a seven wicket win.