Holders Abbots Langley safely negotiated the first hurdle in their bid to successful retain the Watford Observer Fourteen14 Shield and three of the other quarter-finalists are also known after half of the first round ties were played this week.

Drawn away to Watford Town B in the opening round, the competition holders restricted their hosts to 104-8 off their 14, eight-ball overs.

In reply, Abbots needed just 9.6 overs to reach their target, passing the winning post with five wickets in hand.

Elsewhere in the bottom half of the draw, Aldenham School are also through to the last eight after they triumphed at Leverstock Green B by six wickets.

Opener Harvey Henry top scored with 36 before he was run out, while Manav Gupta made an unbeaten 28, but Green had to settle for a total of 104 for five from their innings.

It was the school side’s openers who laid the platform for victory in reply, with David Breeze leading the way with 42 while Luke Kirsten made 31.

Both Watford Town sides will now enter the Plate after the Woodside club’s A side suffered a 19-run defeat to Radlett at the top of the draw.

Having been put into bat, Radlett lost two quick wickets but this only brought first-team skipper Kabir Toor to the middle when the score was 11-2 after 1.5 overs.

Toor and Karan Parmar then compiled a 65-run partnership before the latter was given out leg before wicket for 25 in the seventh over.

The captain struck five fours and two sixes en route to a score of 47, which was key in getting Radlett to a final total of 150-6, with other important contributions from Adnan Khan, Azhar Kayani and Yash Patel.

Chasing 151, Watford got off to a good start by making 30 in the first three overs.

The continued to score at just under 10 an over until the 12th over, but two quick wickets shifted the momentum.

Toor once again played his part, taking 2-36, but a superb spell from Chris Gallagher (4-28) made sure Radlett defended their total.

The bowling also proved key as Watford Haidery also advanced into the last eight with an eight-wicket victory at Aldenham.

With the exception of opener Chris Munroe (31), Aldenham had few answers to the Haidery attack and were skittled for 91.

All four bowlers contributed to positive effect, with Touquer leading the way with four for 15. Majid claimed three for 24, while Ali (2-13) and Mubeen (2-35) weighed in with two wickets apiece.

It took Haidery just 7.5 overs to reach the target, with Tahir’s 22 the top score with the bat. But it is was the 50 extras that were to be most damaging for the home side.