BARRY MCCARTHY announced himself to the word of county cricket with a match-winning five wicket haul as Durham beat Lancashire in one of the few county championship games to beat the elements over the past few weeks.

The Pembroke man too 5 for 70 and 1/51 in the victory bowling with pace and swing - Ireland coach John Bracewell certainly has McCarthy on his radar for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka. He showed his all-round capabilities by hitting 37 in the game too.

Elsewhere it was Ed Joyce who hit the headlines the previous week as he made his highest first-class score - a huge 250 as Sussex drew with Derbyshire. He hit 34 fours and two maximums as he made his third double century in the past year.

He was also among the runs in the match against Worcestershire which just concluded. He scored 31 and 74 in another draw to take his tally to 551 runs for the season at just over 78.

Boyd Rankin was rested by Warwickshire for their game this week but did bowl well in their draw with Somerset in the previous match. The giant paceman taking 3 for 33 and 2 for 43.

Tim Murtagh and Paul Stirling both played for Middlesex but again the rain proved the winner in drawn matches with Notts and local rivals Surrey. Stirlo manged just 7 against Surrey with The Lambeth Lara making 24 and taking 1 for 24, and 2 for 80 v Notts.

Niall O'Brien has started the campaign well with both the bat and the gloves. he hit 48 not out and 17 as well as snaffling three catches in yet another draw - this time against one of his former employers Northants.