The top half of the quarter-final line-up for the Watford Observer Fourteen14 Shield is set to be completed this evening but only one of the last-eight teams in the bottom section of the draw should be known by tomorrow.
The weather has continued to impact on the competition this week but holders West Herts set up a quarter-final date at home to Langleybury A after beating Watford Grammar School for Boys by a narrow eight-run margin on Tuesday.
Abbots Langley are also into the last eight in the top half of the draw following a comfortable 52-run victory over Punjabi Panthers on Thursday of last week and the victors will now travel to the winners of Chipperfield Clarendon and Watford Haidery B, who were due to face each other last night.
In the bottom section of the draw, Rickmansworth were also due to play Leverstock Green B last night and the winners of that tie will travel to either Radlett or Chenies & Latimer. They are scheduled to play on Wednesday after Chenies edged out Kings Langley by two runs last Thursday.
Rickmansworth School Staff have still to play their first round tie against Watford Haidery A. The two teams will try again on Monday and the winners of that game will visit Met Police Bushey with a home quarter-final against either Bushey or Watford Town A, who are also set to face each other on Monday, at stake.
Holders West Herts were taken to the wire by a very competitive Watford Grammar School for Boys side under threatening skies on Tuesday.
Batting first, the Stags got off to a good start through Matt Smith (42) and Stephen Pich (25) but, once these two were dismissed, the innings fell away despite a late flourish from Mohabat Ali as Luke Samarasinghe claimed three for 19 in a total of 111 for six.
A feature of the innings was the excellent fielding of the visitors in the gloomy light.
Watford Boys got off to a great start in reply with the top three batsman all playing solid innings as James Dyson top-scored with 30.
However, once first XI regulars Smith and Dan Woosley came into the attack runs were more difficult to come by and wickets began to fall.
Despite some sloppy fielding, the West Herts total proved too much for the school side who finished on 102 for six.
Plate holders Watford Boys now have to wait to find out if they have qualified for the secondary competition, as will Punjabi Panthers after their heavy loss against Abbots.
Batting first, Langley made 130 for six off their 14, eight-ball overs and they remained in control as Panthers were dismissed for 78 off 11.4 overs.
Kings Langley (125 for five) now go into the Plate after they fell just short of overhauling Chenies & Latimer’s total of 127 for four in their first round tie.
The other Plate qualifiers from the Shield first round are Aldenham, Frogmore, Leverstock Green A and Langleybury B. They will be joined by the losers of the first round tie between Rickmansworth School Staff and Watford Haidery A and the two beaten sides from the Shield second round with the best net run rate.
Although these will not be known in time, organisers are intending to hold the Plate draw on Tuesday in order to at least enable some first round games to be played as soon as possible.
Revised Shield quarter-final draw (seeds in bold): West Herts v Langleybury A; Chipperfield Clarendon or Watford Haidery B v Abbots Langley; Radlett or Chenies & Latimer v Rickmansworth or Leverstock Green B; Met Police Bushey or Rickmansworth School Staff/Watford Haidery A v Bushey or Watford Town A.
Note: In the event West Herts win their quarter-final, the order of the semi-finals will be swapped to ensure they are not playing at home in the last four.
Currently, the first semi-final is due to take place at the Stags’ Park Avenue ground on Wednesday, June 25 with the second at Met Police Bushey’s Aldenham Road home 24 hours later.