Fraser Watts shines with a century for Carlton

Approaching his 39th year, Fraser Watts would seem to be as hungry for runs '“ and as capable of scoring them '“ as at any stage of his distinguished career.

Former Scotland batsman Fraser Watts was in fine form. Picture: Jayne Wright.

Just ask Falkland. Watts smashed 162 to pave the way for champions Carlton to get back to winning ways in the wake of the wretched start to their title defence.

Typically, however, the former Scotland batsman played down his effort and emphasised on the team performance at Grange Loan.

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He said: “Actually, it wasn’t my best knock – and the overriding emotion was one of relief and satisfaction to get a win on the board.

“It was a solid team performance, with Mike Herdman and Arun Pillai batting excellently before we bowled and fielded tightly.”

There was no way back for Falkland after Watts and Herdman (63) put on 183 for the second wicket.

The partnership propelled the hosts to 309 for seven, a tally that was never in danger – especially after the Fifers crumbled to 25 for three.

They couldn’t recover and were shot out for 83.

On his own situation, Watts added: “Of course I enjoy batting and the desire to score runs is still there.

“But I also want to see the young lads coming through to score heavily. I would be very happy to be standing on the other side of the boundary rope with a beer in my hand, watching them take the club to more success.”

Brendon Ford emerged as the toast of unbeaten Arbroath as they picked up the latest in a sequence of victories over Aberdeenshire on their own patch.

Ford struck 110 to propel the Lichties to 244 all out, then stand-in skipper Ross McLean shared an eight-wicket haul with Calvin Burnett to send the Dons crumbling to 201.

Skipper Chris Venske’s ­excellent 133 was in vain as no other Shire batsman was able to pass the 20-mark.

McLean said: “It was a great win. Brendon anchored our innings in tricky conditions and then we stuck to the task in the field when Aberdeenshire looked capable of getting away from us a couple of times.

“Three from three is obviously a fantastic start to our season and we will look to maintain the momentum.”

Venske refused to be downhearted in the face of defeat. He said: “Personally, it was a great day for me, but it didn’t really count for anything because we were well short.

“It was a well-contested match, played in great spirit­, the big difference being Arbroath’s strong start from Brendon and Ross, who put on an opening stand of 84.

“Yes, the result was disappointing, but there are lots positive signs from a young squad. I have great hope for the rest of the campaign.”

Glenrothes suffered their first loss of the term as newly promoted SMRH pulled off a shock at Gilvenbank to break their top-flight duck.

Pro Shaylen Pillay seized the moment by hitting a decisive 88 not out in the rain-affected tussle.

Pillay had snapped up two early wickets to help curb the hosts to 144.

He then held his nerve to steer the capital side over the line with two overs to spare.

Forfarshire’s anxieties deepened as they crashed to Grange at Raeburn Place.

New captain Umair Mohammed top scored with 55 in the Broughty Ferry brigade’s 168 all out.

But unbeaten half-tons from Neil McCallum and Dylan Budge blunted the visiting attack when it mattered.

The toss proved crucial in awkward conditions at Golden­acre, where Heriot’s triumphed in the Edinburgh derby.

No fewer than five ducks were registered by Watsonians as they limped to 120 all out, with Mark Watt bagging three cheap scalps.

The chase was no cakewalk for Heriot’s and they lost seven wickets in the process.