It was a tough day at the office for the Ireland team but not all of the visiting players as they began their match preparation for next week’s Lord’s Test at Chelmsford.

Ireland ended the first day with Curtis Campher bowling for Essex with five slips in place and James McCollum and captain Andrew Balbirnie already back in the pavilion after the county had been bowled out for 343 with Mark Adair and George Dockrell both scoring half centuries for the county.

As pre-arranged, four Ireland players were ‘guests’ in the Essex team to ensure all 15 were involved in the match with Matthew Foster, still to make his Ireland debut, the fourth member playing for the home side.

Ireland finished the day on 38 for two with PJ Moor and nightwatchman Graham Hume at the wicket to allow Harry Tector to start his innings this morning and he will be followed by Paul Stirling who joined up with the squad after playing for the Birmingham Bears in their T20 Blast game last night.

It was always going to a contrived first day with Stirling’s absence forcing Balbirnie to bowl first, when otherwise he would undoubtedly have batted on a glorious sunny day.

It was a good test for the bowlers, however, just six days out from coming up against BazBall in the Test match and it was Tom Mayes, on his first-class and Ireland debut who enjoyed the most success.

The North Down opening bowler may have been the most expensive but he finished with four wickets in his 13 overs including Campher, leg before and Adair, caught at deep square leg for a run-a-ball 62, which included six fours and three sixes.

Fionn Hand, an outsider for Test selection, claimed two wickets and was the most economical of the bowlers on view, while Graham Hume had to satisfied with the wicket of George Dockrell, caught at slip for 74, with 10 fours and two sixes.

Craig Young, favourite to make his Test debut on Thursday, made the initial breakthrough in an excellent spell with the new ball but Andy McBrine’s 14 overs went for 98, although he did end the best innings of the day, from Robin Das, one of the four Essex debutants for a chanceless 132.