JIMMY Lomas will encourage Toft to continue to play in a carefree way when the Cheshire County League’s T20 reaches a conclusion.

The Knutsford side take on holders Nantwich in the first semi-final at Hyde on Sunday.

“We’ve kept it simple and played to our strengths,” Toft’s captain told the Guardian.

“When you’ve got guys who can hit the ball as far as we have, then it makes sense to bat first and lay down a marker.

“The truth is we haven’t thought too much about it; instead we’ve gone out with the intention of playing with freedom and enjoying a format of the game we’re good at.”

It is a formula that has worked.

Toft progressed to the quarter-finals after brushing aside Congleton and then Macclesfield at the group-stage.

They secured a place at finals day with a trademark demolition of Bramhall last week when they posted a score of 221.

With the hosts taking on Premier Division leaders Chester Boughton Hall in the other last-four encounter, Toft will likely be considered outsiders to lift the trophy.

Not that it bothers them.

Lomas added: “I think we’ve kind of sneaked through, and other people aren’t talking about us.

“We’ve just gone about our business quietly, and I don’t know how the other sides still in the competition feel about playing us.

“I think that possibly helps us.

“We might be able to surprise them, and even if we don’t then we can play without pressure given that our first opponents will perhaps be expected to beat us.”

Joe Stanley is ruled out by an injury but Andrew Jackson and Rob Sehmi – absent for a Cheshire Cup last 16 defeat at Alderley Edge last Sunday while they played for the county side at Dorset – are both available.

Tom Forster returns too.

“I’ll tell them to express themselves,” said Lomas.

“They’ve got the skill, something they’ve proved already, and it’s a case of doing those things again.

“We won’t be scared because there is nothing to fear; we’ve played against all of these guys already this season and know what they’re capable of.”

Openers Ewan Williams and Sehmi (both 53) laid a foundation at Bramhall when they put on 107 runs together.

Jackson (29) and James Scott (36) both scored quickly too.

The home team succumbed for 198 when they batted, an innings interrupted by Jackson (4-22) taking wickets at crucial moments.

James Hodgson weighed in with 3-38.

Play starts on Sunday at 10.30am.

Selection (Toft squad)

Tom Forster; Rob Sehmi (wicket-keeper); Henry Hughes; James Scott; Andrew Jackson; Ewan Williams; James Drummond; Ed Stubbs; Jimmy Lomas (captain); Will Dunkerley; James Hodgson; Dan Lord (wicket-keeper); Max Nightingale


Vivio Cheshire County League

T20 Finals Day

Sunday, July 14

At Hyde Cricket Club


Nantwich v Toft (from 10.30am)

Hyde v Chester Boughton Hall

Final follows later the same day

The winners progress to an area final on Sunday, July 28