BOSS Alex Gidman is satisfied with Worcestershire Rapids' overall performance and position in the North Group heading into the second half of the Vitality Blast.

The holders are second with nine points from six completed games and four victories under their belt.

Rapids put together three wins in five days against Durham, Derbyshire Falcons and Yorkshire Vikings before losing on Sunday at home to Leicestershire Foxes.

It was their first defeat of 2019 on home soil in the T20 competition.

First-team coach Gidman said: “Am I pleased with where we are at the halfway stage of the tournament? Definitely. We have played some really good cricket.

“We knew and still know we are not going to win every game but we are in a good position to attack the second half of the competition.

“Our aim is to get through into the knockout stages and we are in a good position to give that a real good crack.”

On the Foxes loss, Gidman said: “In my own head when setting out the week I thought if we won two out of the three games we would be in a good position which we’ve done.

“Nevertheless that is a disappointing way to end the week.

"We didn’t do the basics as well as we have done so far in this competition and this week in particular.

“We didn’t quite get it right in either skill which happens in this competition.

“It’s about looking forward now, learning from the mistakes we made and trying to put them right before Sunday (against Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Blackfinch New Road 2.30pm).

“We assessed the conditions equally well (as Leicestershire).

"We just didn’t execute our skills as well as they did and definitely credit to Leicestershire for playing better than us. We just didn’t play our best game.”

Meanwhile, Worcestershire academy squad and coaches have landed in Dublin ahead of a trio of matches against Ireland under 17s.

Six of the 13-strong squad, Ed Bragg, Pete Clark, Henry Cullen, Matt Davis, Mitchell Stanley and Dan Holland, are part of the full 2018-2019 academy intake.

Worcestershire will be based at County Wicklow and play at Oak Hill against Ireland, including today and on Thursday, before flying home after the final fixture.

The tour further strengthens the links already in place between the County and Ireland.

Earlier this summer Ireland travelled over to face the County academy in a trip which is now a regular part of the calendar.

Academy coach Elliot Wilson and David Banks will be in charge of the squad in Ireland.

Josh Baker, Freddie Fallows, Oli Halion, Ben Lees, Henry Marshall, Joe Miszkowski and Aaron Tomson are also in the squad.

n The four Worcestershire players taking part in this year’s Bunbury Festival will receive their caps from England’s record Test run-scorer.

Alastair Cook is handing out the caps for the 33rd festival this week at Felsted School in Essex.

It will be a proud moment for Rehan Edavaleth, Harry Cooke, Ollie Walker and Reeve Evitts who are all part of the County academy pathway.

They will compete for the Midlands side in the four-team tournament.

Cook still plays for Essex after retiring last year from international cricket.

It is a second successive festival call-up for batsman-spinner Edavaleth who along with Evitts is a member of the full County academy 2018-2019 intake.

Malvern College pupil Edavaleth, who plays for Barnards Green, joined the pathway three years ago from the County’s Staffordshire satellite academy.

All-rounder Evitts was also previously a member of the Staffordshire set-up.

Walker is a top-order batsman and right-arm medium bowler.

Cooke is a middle-order batsman and right-arm seamer from Shropshire.