Goresbrook pay tribute to 'one-off' club-record holder Irving following sad passing
PUBLISHED: 16:00 20 June 2019
Goresbrook Cricket Club were saddened to hear that Ben Irving had lost his battle with cancer at the age of just 22 on Saturday morning.
Irving joined the Dagenham club aged seven and played a record 180 games in the junior ranks as a hard-hitting batsman, bowler and wicketkeeper.
And most of those games were played alongside current captain Shane Barwick, with the pair helping Goresbrook under-16s to the Matchplay final in 2013.
Barwick and Irving both scored 50s in the semi-final against Saffron Walden at Billericay, in a 99-run stand that lives long in the memory of members.
And Irving remained a popular member in senior circles, hitting a career-best 161 not out against Old Southendians in 2016 and taking best bowling figures of 5-20 against Canvey Island.
Scott Barwick, colts manager for much of Irving's time with Goresbrook, paid a moving tribute, saying: "He was a joy to manage as a young colt. A bubbly carefree boy who loved training and playing and got on with everyone.
"He was a superb batsman, good bowler and very tidy wicketkeeper when required and he was a massive part of the success we had in the years leading up to reaching the 2013 Matchplay final.
"Ben's greatest strength was his self-belief. It didn't matter what the situation was, he never seemed nervous and would go out and play positively, with reckless abandon at times.
"It usually worked out for us as a team. He truly was a one-off."
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Goresbrook's first team wore black armbands in memory of Irving during their 97-run win over Ardleigh Green & Havering.
And the thirds kept their unbeaten record going with a thrilling two-run win over Walthamstow fourths at the May & Baker Annex.
After a slow start, Michael Wilson hit 23 off 14 balls and under-15 Andre Thoufick hit a superb 73 off 41 balls.
Andy Livett (31 not out) and captain Ricci Parnell (30) helped lift the total to 210-7, but captain Nic Knight (80) and Zohaib Tahir (55) put on a big stand for the fourth Walthamstow wicket to keep the match in the balance.
With the target down to 11 off 11 balls, Joe Barwick removed Tahir and left Stow needing seven from the last over.
Under-15 Ted Ivory kept his cool, bowling four dot balls to seal victory after George Godfrey (3-33) and Danny Gillham (2-35) had earlier success.
Table-topping Brook visit Hutton fifths this weekend.
The seconds moved up to fourth with a seven-wicket win over Epping at May & Baker.
Spinners Lawrence Walsh (2-16) and Harry Jackson (3-20) prospered after Billy Parnell (2-10) had early success to dismiss the visitors for 129.
Kurt Whisker (25) and Mark Bird (26) made starts, before in-form Aaron Scott's unbeaten 57 saw Daryl Forward's men home in 30 overs ahead of a trip to Walthamstow.