Carlton buoyed as Fraser plays key role in win

Fraser Boyd, pictured batting, hit 40
Fraser Boyd, pictured batting, hit 40
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Wicketkeeper batsman Fraser Boyd signalled his return from a horror elbow injury which required two operations with a key role as Carlton beat both inclement weather and Stoneywood Dyce in cricket’s Eastern Premier Division.

All other games were washed out but the trip north proved fruitful for the Capital side and Boyd, who hit 40 in a 99-run partnership with Alex Rajendran (56) then took a couple of catches as the Aberdonians came up well short of a 160 all out total.

The teams were briefly off the field and the Duckworth/Lewis method used to determine rain-affected matches invoked; that meant a revised target of 163 for Stoneywood Dyce and they were all out 40 runs short.

It was two days before the start of the 2013 season that Boyd, a 22-year-old PE teacher, broke his elbow playing football for Boroughmuir High staff against Broughton High staff and underwent surgery almost immediately.

“It’s great to finally be playing cricket pain free and, until my second op, I didn’t think that would be the case,” said former Scotland under-19 cap Boyd.

He added: “After the first operation I couldn’t straighten my arm and any time I tried to hit a ball I suffered pain so I went under the knife again in October.

“Thankfully, things worked out so that I was able to play my first proper game of cricket for nearly two years at the start of this season.”

Part of that time was spent coaching Broughton High under-13 footballers to a Scottish Shield success.

On recovering from surgery, Fraser moved back to his first club, Carlton – where dad John is vice president – after a spell with Watsonians.

Carlton club captain Fraser Watts paid tribute, saying: “Fraser had pretty big boots to fill taking over behind the stumps from Jamie Kerr (ex Scotland), who had decided to retire.

“The type of bizarre injury he suffered wasn’t the best thing to happen to a wicketkeeper but he has kept working away and is now managing to cement his place behind the stumps as well as doing well with the bat.

“Alex Rajendran is also in a bit of a purple patch and he has been a good acquisition after moving to a job in Edinburgh from England over the winter and pitching up at Carlton.”

Without the Boyd-Rajendran pairing, Carlton would have got nowhere near the 160 total that was to prove daunting for the hosts on an awkward pitch. Indeed, the last five wickets went for 16 runs.

Boyd said: “Alex really had his eye in and was able to aggressively hit quite a few boundaries leaving me to try to keep him on strike.

“We always felt 160 would be a good score and, when Ally Evans got a ball to nip back through the gate and dismiss Michael Leask for four, we were on our way.

“Henk Conradie provided the main resistance but then Omar Ahmed forced him to push a return catch and we were able to clean up the tail.” A couple of catches saw Boyd take his total victims to 12 and only five other keepers have bettered that return at this stage.

As for Carlton, their sixth win of the season moves them up to fifth in the table with five matches to play and the only disappointment of the weekend was the inability to give a debut to 15-year-old all-rounder Angus Hinton after league authorities felt unable to accept his registration at short notice.

It is understood the official view is that a precedent would be set and the youngster instead turned out for the Carlton 2nds in a rained-off fixture.

Carlton’s win sets up an appealing Capital derby this weekend at home to Mazars Grange, who had Falkland 63-4 when stumps were drawn.

Biggest frustration was suffered by Watsonians, who reduced leaders Aberdeenshire to 64-6 mainly through Dewald Nel taking four wickets only for mist and drizzle to intervene.

Heriot’s had champions Arbroath 34-2 while SMRH failed to get their innings started at Broughty Ferry in order to attempt the pursuit of Forfarshire’s daunting 272-3.