Watford Grammar School for Boys’ impressive record in the Watford Observer Fourteen14 Plate has continued after they reached a fifth final in seven years.

The school team avenged their 2016 final defeat at the hands of Bushey with a 27-run victory at West Herts’ Park Avenue home and will now bid for a fourth triumph in the competition at Abbots Langley’s ground on Wednesday.

Their opponents will be Watford Town A, who ended Northchurch’s hopes by an almost identical winning margin at Chipperfield Clarendon’s ground.

Although Luke Samarasinghe, who has been pivotal to Watford Grammar’s success in the event, was run out for six, fellow opener Jack Doodson produced the standout contribution in Monday’s semi-final with an unbeaten 70 as the school side reached 148-3 off their 14, eight-ball overs.

Watford remained in control of the tie in the field as they restricted Bushey to 121-7 in reply.

Northchurch’s decision to field first when Watford had reached 85-2 by the end of the eighth over was looking unwise, with Mo Syed and Asad Sajjad (20) building a good stand as they mixed keeping the scoreboard ticking over with the former used his power to find the boundary when possible.

However, when Syed (40) edged Charles Fidler behind it was to signal a swing in fortunes in Wednesday’s tie.

Fidler (4-28) and Romit Patel (4-21) took eight wickets between them as Town, who had looked on course for a total in excess of 150, slumped to 137 all out with two balls remaining.

However, Northchurch’s hopes of building on this momentum with the bat were abruptly halted as Sajjad (2-18) bowled Matthew Suckling (0) off the second delivery and inflicted the same fate on fellow opener James Smart (1) six balls later to leave the score 2-2 at the end of the first over.

Patel (36) and Azeem Akhbar (24) did compile a 63-run partnership for the fourth wicket, but they were unable to score at a rate to really threaten to challenge for the win.

After Ali Mitru (2-15) had struck twice in the 12th over to leave Northchurch 85-6, they were to be penalised for batting in a protected area and five runs were added to the Town total.

That penalty was quickly cancelled out by five extras being added to their score, but by then the outcome had effectively been decided as Northchurch closed on 114-8.