TWO BARNSLEY sportswomen have helped England teams in different sports to success this week while reaching personal milestones.
Footballer Bethany England scored three goals in England’s two World Cup qualifiers while cricketer Katherine Brunt took five wickets to help her England team into a lead over New Zealand in their One Day International series.
Brunt now has 302 international wickets in all formats – the second woman ever to pass that milestone – while England’s international career is relatively new, with five goals in 12 appearances.
Bethany came off the bench to score twice as England thrashed North Macedonia 8-0 at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday to begin their qualification campaign in style. They were her first competitive international goals.
She tweeted: “Beth ². Great performance from the girls tonight & even better having the fans back”
She then came on to get the final goal in a 10-0 win in Luxembourg on Tuesday evening.
The 27-year-old from Kingstone – who is hoping to play for England in the home European Championships next summer – will now return to her club Chelsea for their match against Manchester United on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Brunt, from Dodworth, starred with bat and ball this week.
She made 43 off 51 balls, with five fours – which was then her fourth best score in 127 One Day International innings and her best for three years – as England made 241 in the first match in Bristol.
Brunt then took one wicket for 22 off eight overs, with four maidens, as New Zealand fell short on 211.
Due to her past injuries, Brunt is often rested for games and therefore did not play in Sunday’s victory in the second match in Worcester.
She was back in the team in Leicester on Tuesday as England slipped to 27 for four then 101 for eight before posting 178 as Brunt top-scored with 49 not out.
She then removed both openers on her way to fine figures off four for 22 off ten overs.
But New Zealand won with three wickets left.
Brunt was rested for yesterday’s match in Derby.
The series is due to be concluded in Canterbury on Sunday.
England were scheduled to visit Pakistan next month but the tour for both men’s and women’s teams has now been cancelled due to security concerns.
They are then set to tour Australia in the Ashes in January and February before the 50-over World Cup in New Zealand in March.
Brunt – who has been playing international cricket for 17 years – has previously said that she may retire after the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next summer in which England will field a team.
Paul Shaw, who coached Brunt at Barnsley Cricket Club then when he was in charge of the England team, praised her resilience and skill.
Shaw, who is from Jump but now coaches Lancashire’s women’s team, said: “Katherine has had a remarkable career.
“She’s obviously had her challenges with quite serious injuries over the years but she’s shown a wonderful resilience to keep bouncing back.
“For a number of years she has been the spearhead of that England bowling attack.
“To be at 300 wickets shows how much drive she has to be the best which has perhaps been her major strength over the years.
“I worked with Katherine from when she was 16.
“After a while, I told that she could have a chance to play for England in a couple of years and, as she always tells everyone, she did it in six months.
“She’s always been great to work with. She is a wonderful athlete and a great individual.
“If you look at Barnsley Cricket Club over the years, it has produced more county and international cricketers than most clubs around the country.
“But what Katherine has achieved means she is right up there with the best of them.”