TOFT'S players should remember what they are capable of heading into the most important weekend of the season so far.

That's the message from captain Jimmy Lomas, who needs his side to focus on a Cheshire County League fixture at Marple on Saturday before turning their attention to a national knockout quarter-final the following afternoon.

A victory in the first game would be the perfect tonic for what comes next.

"We need to back ourselves," he told the Guardian.

"It has been frustrating for all of us to have such contrasting form between different competitions.

"However I don't think our ability as cricketers has changed.

"I have faith in these guys, and we've shown already what our skills can achieve."

A five-wicket defeat at home to Premier Division title-hopefuls Neston last weekend leaves the Knutsford side sitting 10th in the table, 18 points better off than their hosts this weekend.

It is a precarious position with only five matches remaining.

Toft were dismissed for 124 after being put in with Andrew Jackson (33), Tom Forster (28) and Rob Jones (22) unable to build on promising starts.

It was not a large enough total to defend, despite the best efforts of Jackson (2-50) and James Scott (2-19), and the visitors to Booth's Park eased to 128-5 by the 33rd over.

On Sunday Toft are due at Ormskirk, from the Liverpool and District Competition's top-flight, when the ECB National Club T20 reaches the last-eight stage.

The victors will progress to a finals day at the home of Derbyshire Cricket Club next month.

Lomas and company made it there following impressive victories against Prestwich and Menai Bridge in the Area Final earlier this month.

Before that they triumphed in the county league's own competition after beating holders Nantwich.

Lomas said: "We can go there and play without pressure.

"Whatever happens, we've achieved something we didn't think we would right back at the start.

"We've defended low totals and put big scores on the board batting first, proving that we can win in different ways.

"It's a one-off T20 game, and anything can happen."

Play starts on Sunday at *am.

Toft's seconds batted for a draw when they met their Neston counterparts last weekend.

They closed on 183-7 with Ewan Williams (41no) holding fort after Scott Craig (47) narrowly missed out on a half-century.

Paul Ashley (2-62) had been the pick of the visitors' bowlers when the home team ran up 238-4 with James O'Neill (102no) their star turn.