TOFT skipper Jimmy Lomas praised the spirit of his side as they put aside a disappointing league campaign to reach the Vitality Club T20 final.

It was the first time the club had reached a national knockout final for 30 years and Lomas was certain his young team had done the club proud despite a 21-run loss to Norwich side Swardeston under the lights at the Pattonair County Ground in Derby.

“None of this team were born the last time the club got to a national final,” said Lomas, who at 28, was the oldest member of the Toft team.

“It was the biggest day that we’ve had as a club since then and we really enjoyed it.

"It’s just not quite gone our way in the final, but I’ve never been prouder of the lads. We were just beaten by the better team.”

Toft reached the final in sensational circumstances when, with four needed from the final ball of their semi-final against Sheffield Collegiate, Henry Hughes found the cover rope.

It sparked wild celebrations which have gained online attention after it was posted on Twitter.

“I’ve seen the video and that is one that we will treasure,” Lomas said.




“Henry certainly enjoyed the moment - I think he did a full lap.

"There have been a lot of great memories getting there and we made more on Sunday and I’m proud not just of the lads but the club as a whole who have supported us throughout.”

Swardeston etched their name in history after they became the first club to claim the national knockout trophy double thanks to Sunday's success.

All-rounder Callum Taylor was their hero as he crashed 22 from nine balls before claiming five for 18 as the East Anglians.

Swardeston secured the first leg of their historic double at Lord’s the previous Monday when they defeated Toft's Cheshire rivals Nantwich CC in a rain-affected Royal London Club Championship final by 53 runs.

The record books therefore beckoned at Derby for Swardeston – who narrowly failed to secure the double three years ago – but this time they were not bowed as they claimed their third national T20 title in the past decade.

“It’s incredible. This is by far the best week of all of our lives,” Taylor said.

“To do the double and the fact that it has never been done before just goes to show how hard it is.

“We’re so tight as a team on and off the field. We are all just best mates really and I think that shows with the team spirit."

The final was a showcase for Swardeston’s batting depth as opener Jordan Taylor, the brother of Callum, paced the innings with 45 from 39 balls before Lewis Denmark (39) and Lord’s man-of-the-match Peter Lambert (33) hurried the final total to 178-7.

Callum Taylor then claimed two early wickets and while the evening dew aided Toft’s hitters the match turned when Gatting and Denmark combined for a brilliant outfield catch on the long-off boundary to dismiss James Scott, who had struck 41 from 23 balls.

Taylor then mopped up the tail before Tom Oxley’s direct hit completed the win with Toft bowled out for 157.