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=Blogs & Columns 1990-2018
The County Watch Extra Column
CountyWatch Extra: Review of the Year
THE county cricket circuit has been a rich source of employment and success for Irishmen since Ed Joyce made the breakthrough 15 years ago. More than 30 players have tested themselves over there, with the number who got a full-time living out of it well into double figures.
CountyWatch Extra 2016 (1)
Ger Siggins is back with his weekly column on the Irishmen playing below first-class level in England
CountyWatch Extra (19)
The Irish interest in the 2nd XI county season petered out when it emerged that neither Paul Stirling not Andy Balbirnie would be in action for Middlesex in the championship final at Radlett.
CountyWatch Extra (18)
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.
CountyWatch Extra (17)
THERE'S another big game for some Irish cricketers on Thursday. While the senior men's team are taking on the Aussies, two others will be taking to the field in the final of the Second Eleven Trophy at Derby.
CountyWatch Extra (16)
It's a measure of how young Irish cricketers ambitions have widened that no fewer than 24 Irish cricketers have featured in this column this season, which confines itself to the world outside the professional first XIs ñ and Ed Joyce, Gary Wilson and the O'Brien brothers have played solely in the level above too.
CountyWatch Extra (15)
SURREY hosted Middlesex in the 2nd XI championship this week, pitting Stuart Thompson against his Ireland team-mates Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie.
CountyWatch Extra (14)
The Irish continue to do well in England, with Stuart Thompson the latest player to try his hand in England.
CountyWatch Extra (13)
YMCA batsman Jack Tector has been back and forth to Glamorgan for a couple of seasons when his commitments with Ireland U19 and U17 permitted.
CountyWatch Extra (12)
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.
CountyWatch Extra (11)
WITH the World T20 qualifier kicking off next week, Andy Balbirnie got the chance to check out the Afghans up close this week when they took on Middlesex 2nds.
CountyWatch Extra (10)
Bobby Gamble has being playing an extraordinary amount of cricket this season.
CountyWatch Extra (9)
TWO Irishmen will be taking part in a major global T20 tournament in India this October.
CountyWatch Extra (8)
THE big story of the week was the stunning partnership of 388 by Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie, a championship record for the second wicket and the third highest for any wicket.
CountyWatch Extra (7)
IT'S a mark of modern Irish cricket that even when the national team is in action there are still plenty of cricketers pursuing their careers in English cricket.
CountyWatch Extra (6)
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.
CountyWatch Extra (5)
FOUR centuries, four fifties, three five-fers and one ten-wicket-match. It was quite a week of individual performances by Irish players in sub-top level cricket this week.
CountyWatch Extra (4)
While most of the Ireland squad enjoyed a week paddling around Malahide, there were still a few of the lesser lights and future supernovas in action in England.
CountyWatch Extra 3
Andrew Balbirnie's 192 is the highest score made by an Irishman in second XI cricket.
County Watch Extra 2
THE big news on the below-first-class scene in England was the successful return to Sussex on trial of Craig Young.
Countywatch Extra No 1 - 2015
HERE we are, barely half-way through April and the sensible Irish cricket community still keeping their loins girded ahead of the opening of the season.
County Watch Extra 18
A look at how the Irish players did in the season as a whole in the three 2nd XI competitions.
County Watch Extra 17
THE season outside first-class cricket limped into mid-September, although international calls meant few Irish players were there for the last rites.
County Watch Extra 16
There was an important 2nd XI championship game at Sussex and the home side fielded a strong, near first XI top five captained by Michael Yardy against Somerset who fielded a near first XI bowling attack.
County Watch Extra 15
The 2nd XI season is coming to the boil, and there was one Irishman in action on Monday in the Second Eleven Trophy semi-final at Grace Road.
County watch Extra 14
The Irish trio at Durham continue to make waves.
County Watch Extra 13
Round up of the Irish operating below first team level.
County Watch Extra 12
Stuart Poynter's 100 against Sri Lanka ëA' last week was yet another example of a batsman in exceptional form making hay while the sun shines.
County Watch Extra 11
Irishmen operating in the county 2nd XIs have been quiet lately through a mixture of injury and call ups by first XIs and Irish provinces.
County Watch Extra 10
Andrew Balbirnie's astonishing summer reached a new peak at the Ageas Bowl this week.
County Watch Extra 9
This week the column returns to a bumper haul of Irish activity across the sea.
County Watch Extra 8
Another young Irishman took the first steps on the road to a career in cricket when he made his debut for Glamorgan 2nds last week.
County Watch Extra 7 County Watch Extra 7
Happily for them, several of the players you read about here every week have started to graduate to the big boys' County Watch.
County Watch Extra 6
It was a quiet week for the Irish players operating outside the first-class scene this week.
County Watch Extra 5
While there was plenty of attention paid to the Middlesex T20 side that featured three Irish-born players last weekend, a similar notable event received a lot less coverage.
County Watch Extra 4
There have been plenty of Irishmen beavering away below the surface of English cricket over the last couple of weeks.
County Watch Extra 3
A quiet week in the non-first-class scene for the county players, with the wipe-out of a Second Eleven Trophy game between Somerset and Middlesex.
County Watch Extra 2
While the county stars get plenty of attention, there are plenty of Irish and Irish-qualified players bubbling around just below the surface in English cricket.
County Watch Extra 1
A look at how the Irish contingent have performed in games under the radar in the early part of the season.