A century from Mo Manzoor laid the platform for Langleybury A to beat Watford Town B – and last night’s storms – to win the Watford Observer Fourteen14 Plate in convincing fashion.

The opening batsman was the dominant figure against his former club in the final at Abbots Langley’s ground, making 103 out of a total of 157-5.

Their opponents started well but after losing joint top-scoring Syed Ali and Nasar Mitru within the space of five deliveries in the seventh over, the impetus went out of the reply as they increasingly had to settle for batting out their overs in the mounting gloom.

The victory ensured Langleybury got their hands on a piece of Watford Observer cricket competition silverware for the first time since 1994, a fact that may surprise some given the club’s status.

The Hunton Bridge outfit would have been hoping to reach the latter stages of the Shield but a two-run defeat against Bushey in the second round meant they had to be content with a place in the secondary competition, reaching the final following victories over West Herts and Aldenham.

Having won the toss, it was no surprise that Bury skipper Nahim Amin elected to bat, but man-of-the-match Manzoor’s evening could have turned out very differently had he been given out off the third ball of the match when Watford appealed forcefully for a catch behind.

The opener survived though, and it was to be the captain who was the first man out in third over when he was bowled by Haroon Bhatti (1-36 from 4 overs) for a duck. Manzoor already had 15 runs on the board by that stage though, and in the next over the first six of the match helped him add 12 more.

Manzoor mixed up his shot making with running the ones and twos throughout his innings. But such was his early scoring dominance, by the time he reached his half-century with a boundary in the seventh over, his side had a total of 63 runs on the board.

Danny Walker contributed just 15 to a second-wicket partnership of 83 that was ended in the ninth over when he edged Mitru (1-34 from 3 overs) behind, before Bury brought up three figures off the first ball of the next over.

A third-wicket alliance of 38 was to be somewhat more balanced in scoring terms, with Richard Soulsby making 16 before he became the first of Zirak Khan’s (3-45 from 4 overs) three wickets.

The bowler was to pick up his other two wickets in the final over of Bury’s innings, Manzoor the first of those but only after he had reached figures.

Like their opponents, Town’s reply also suffered a third-over setback when Gurpreet Nagra (8) was run out after a breakdown in communication left him stranded at the same end as Mitru.

Bury used a spin attack for the majority of their overs, but Steve Carter (2-34 from 4 overs) and Ross Channer (1-30 from 4 overs) were on the receiving end of some six-hitting treatment from Mitru and Ali as the corresponding scores were identical at the end of the sixth over of Watford’s reply. But both batsmen were to perish for 26 to catches in the deep off Carter in the next over as Bury were to take a decisive grip on the contest.

Si Sampat (24) and Richard Eames (14) did add 35 for Watford’s fourth wicket, but no boundaries were to be scored after the eighth over as the light continued to deteriorate and Bury completed their 44-run win.