Goresbrook Cricket Club’s all-time XI 1981-2020 revealed by an expert 20-man panel of selectors
PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 June 2020
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With the 2020 Shepherd Neame Essex League season on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic, Goresbrook have named their all-time best XI.
The Dagenham club, formed in 1981, has a number of members who have seen all of the vast majority of the players to have featured in their history.
And thanks to chairman Dean Barwick, Goresbrook also has a complete statistical archive of every run scored and every wicket taken for the club.
Therefore, rather than nominating somebody to pick an all-time XI or putting it to a social media vote (which usually favours the most recent players), a 20-person panel featuring all active former 1st XI captains and a cross section of members who joined the club from formation or in the early 1990s was formed.
Everybody was asked to pick their best XI and a composite all-time side was compiled using a one player, one vote system.
Lawrence Walsh – every club has a ‘legend’ and Goresbrook’s is Lol Walsh, active from the very first game and still good enough to play some 1st XI league cricket last season,
His 26,600 runs featuring 31 tons at 31.75 and 1,317 wickets at a shade under 18 are both club records. A stylish opening bat, who favours the off side and a wily leg spinner, a shoulder injury threatens to bring the curtain down on his bowling career, but there’s still time for a few more runs.
Kurt Whisker – the left hander debuted in 199 and captained the club to two Essex County League titles in 2011 and 2013, leading the 1st XI for most of the decade.
He was the key wicket for most of that time as well, while his 14,571 runs at 31.81 were compiled with a rock-solid defence and a sound knowledge of his strengths, with a best of 157 usually forming the basis for a good Goresbrook total.
Wayne Hutcheson – the stocky Queenslander only played for the club for three years from 2003-5, but made a huge impact, breaking the club’s single season run record in 2004 and racking up 3,642 runs at the impressive average of 43.36.
A left handed batsman with the full range of strokes, his pacy off spin is also a useful option, as his 134 wickets at 22 attest.
Darren Ivory – the powerful right hander is most people’s idea of the most destructive batman to play for Goresbrook and his 14,874 runs at 34.19 make him an automatic choice in the middle order.
At his peak in the early 1990s when he won the Post’s Batsman of the year award in 1992, Ivory has started playing again more regularly in recent years as son Ted comes through the XIs so there’s plenty of scope to push on past 15,000 runs.
Shane Barwick – a series of dominant performances in SNEL Division Three last year, where he was in the top three in both runs scored and wickets taken, saw him selected for the SNEL XI to play the East Anglian Premier League and also the Essex Development XI.
A left-handed batsman and left-arm orthodox spinner, he racked up 1,650 runs in 2019 to break Wayne Hutcheson’s club record, but it’s his career bowling figures that are even more eye catching with 546 wickets at 13.26.
A player very much on the rise, Barwick had signed for Premier Division Hornchurch for the 2020 season, so he will be hoping more than most that the coronavirus allows some play this season.
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Michael Rooke – an elegant right-handed batsman and left-arm seamer who uses his height to great effect, Rooke was a huge loss to the club when he emigrated to Singapore in 2014.
His batting record of 6,831 runs at 29.44 probably underplays his ability, which really started to come to the fore in Goresbrook’s Essex County League title-winning years, Rooke was also a superb slip fielder.
Steve Rooke – joining his nephew in the side is one of Goresbrook’s original band of brothers from the club’s first game.
A force of nature in the club’s early years as a tearaway fast bowler whose 543 wickets at 14.15 are testament to his impact with the ball.
With the bat, some 13,823 runs at 25.65 with 13 hundreds were mostly bludgeoned in quick time by one of the best eyes the club has seen.
Scott Barwick – the right-arm opening bowler joins son Shane in the line-up as one of only two bowlers to take 1,000 wickets for the club,
’The General’ has 1,120 wickets at 16.43, which marks him out as the premier seam bowler in the club’s history and his 102 wickets in the 1984 season may never be beaten.
A dangerous operator with the bat, who was prolific in the V down the ground, with 15,653 runs at just short of 26 to bolster the middle order and his presence in the slip cordon will also be handy even if he has to cede first slip to Michael Rooke.
Richard Williams – the tall Yorkshireman was Goresbrook’s Mr Reliable with the ball, leading the attack after Barwick started to succumb to injury from 2000 until the mid-2010s.
His 437 wickets came at 18.07, but equally important was an economy rate of barely three an over, which made him a captain’s delight in keeping sides in check at the start of the innings.
No mug with the bat, Williams has hit 4,763 runs at 27.53 despite dropping down the order as younger players came into the side.
Kane Messenger – probably the finest fielder to don Goresbrook whites, the current 1st XI skipper takes the last seam bowling role, with his career 511 wickets at 19.98 being taken usually either fulfilling the role of death bowler, or running in hard as the ball starts to lose it’s shine.
A man for a crisis, Messenger has dug his side out of trouble with the bat on numerous occasions, scoring 5,333 runs at 21 and is generally regarded as one of the most whole-hearted competitors ever to play for the club.
Peter Ivory – joins brother Darren in the line-up to take the gloves after what was a very close vote with 2011/13 title winning keeper Chris Burke.
A tidy batsman who accumulated 3,912 runs at 18.63, he excelled behind the stumps after a conversion early in his career, with his athleticism and upbeat personality keeping the side on the attack in the field as he amassed 206 catches and 52 stumpings from 1990-2008.
The most contentious omission was the prolific Andy Livett who has racked up 1,056 appearances and nearly 22,000 runs at 30.
With nearly 700 wickets Livett could easily have filled one of the all-rounder slots as well as his favoured spot at the top of the order and numerous people had him in the line-up.
The seam bowling slots were a very close run thing with Israel Ochwo missing out on a tie-breaker after finishing level with Williams and Messenger,
Ochwo’s raw pace would always be welcomed in any side and his 401 wickets at 15.83, including a club record 9-24 against Rayleigh, mark him as on his day probably the best strike bowler the club has had.
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