The last time the town celebrated a success of such stature was in 1966 when footballing brothers Bobby and Jackie Charlton returned home World Cup heroes after a 4-2 extra time victory over West Germany at Wembley Stadium. Ashington-born cricketer Steve Harmison is a two-time Ashes winner whilst Wood also savoured that same moment when England lifted the urn over the Australians in 2015. Steve Williams, who coached Wood through the ranks at Ashington Cricket Club for seven years and has monitored his progress said: “I feel very proud of what Mark has just achieved and to be honest I’m quite emotional. I coached Mark from the age of nine until he joined the Durham Academy around 16 years old and I remember when as a youngster he flew over to Australia to play for ex Ashington cricketer Scott Kay’s Palm Beach club in Queensland. “It is unbelievable to see him come through every stage of his development and to say I’m delighted would be an understatement.” Williams also heaped praise on new World Cup winner Wood who has had injury problems over the past few years. He added: “The way Mark keeps bouncing back (from injury) speaks volumes about his character. “He has been written off time and time again but keeps coming back – purely and simply because he is a battler. In the current England set up, he not only looks the part but also plays his part and doesn’t look under pressure.” Williams who started his Ashington career in 1984 has recently returned to the Mighty Acorns as coach and said: “When Mark is not playing cricket, he comes up to the club and cannot do enough. He has time for everybody; he keeps in touch and after England’s semi final win over Australia, he returned home and was even practising at Langwell Crescent.” England v New Zealand dramatically ended all square before England won on a super over, courtesy of hitting more boundaries.
It was a case of rain stops play in the Northumberland & Tyneside Cricket League on Saturday with both Morpeth and Ponteland 1sts forced to cancel their games.
Stobswood 1sts started away to Stocksfield, but the game was abandoned whilst Blagdon 1sts also cancelled away to Cramlington.
Ulgham 1sts, however, managed to complete their game against Kirkley in Division 5.
There was a delayed start and play was reduced to 35 overs, with Kirkley winning by 116 runs.
Jason Ritchie was 85 not out, and there was a half century from Richard Chapman as Kirkley put on 256-6,Ulgham being all out for 140