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Watford Grammar School for Boys become first school side to win Watford Observer Plate
Watford Grammar School for Boys have created a fresh piece of Watford Observer knockout cricket competitions history this evening after becoming the first school-based side to win the Plate with an emphatic 66-run victory over Watford Town B.
The Woodside club were hoping to complete the first leg of a unique double, with their A side due to meet Leverstock Green in the main Shield final at Chipperfield Clarendon on Thursday, but they ultimately came up way short as the Rickmansworth Road school cantered to victory.
Grammar laid very firm foundations with the bat, scoring an impressive 142 for four off their 14, eight-ball overs after electing to have first use of the wicket at Met Police Bushey.
Skipper Scott John led from the front with a fine 58 – a performance that earned him the man-of-the-match accolade – and he was backed up by solid knocks of 26 from fellow opener Matthew Elgey, while Sam Bailey weighed in with an unbeaten 21 lower down the order.
Despite losing opener Scott Traxon (four) in the first over, Town made a decent enough start, reaching 26 for one by the end of the third over.
But the fall of three wickets in the next two overs to opening bowlers Billy Gage (two for 17 off four overs) and Sam Banstead (three for 26) swung the momentum firmly in the school’s favour and they maintained their stranglehold on the contest.
Tom Brall (one for three of three) and John Shafe (one for 14 off two) also picked up a wicket apiece as Town’s scoring rate slowed so alarmingly that it took until the first ball of the last over for them to register even a two, the last one having been scored in the fourth.
Watford did manage to bat through their overs, thanks to an unbeaten 12 from Haseeb Khan – opener Suran Mohmand (13) was the only other batsman to make it into double figures – but the Plate was already in the school’s hands long before Ross Panter (nought for nine off one) was given the final over of the match.
Earlier John had showed Grammar were in the mood by hitting the last two deliveries of Suran Mohmand’s opening over for four.
The captain also added boundaries in overs two and six – the second bringing up the 50 – but the openers were largely content to keep the scoreboard ticking over. By the time Elgey was caught and bowled by Jagjit Singh (one for 30 off four) off the last ball of the seventh over, Grammar were nicely set at 63 for one at their halfway stage of their innings.
Although Tom Brall (two) and Josh Hodson (13) fell to Jidran Mohmand (two for 43 off three), John was still adding to his tally and he cut loose in the 12th, hitting the same bowler for consecutive sixes.
John deserved to carry his bat but was caught on the boundary going for another big shot three balls from the end of the innings. But the skipper had already set his side well on the road to triumph.