A WHOPPING 56 players are in the running for this year's Nevin Cup.

An exciting blend of youth and experience from the region was in the hat for this year's competition when the draw was made last week.

And there can be little doubt that the Nevin Cup remains the competition they all want to win.

The organiser of the showpiece, Sammy Walker, said: "The competition is full to bursting this year with 56 players in the running.

"It is going to be really exciting, the draw has thrown up some interesting fixtures.

"The Nevin Cup is always one of the most eagerly anticipated tournaments in any sport in this region and this year is no different.

"The buzz has already started and I'm sure it is only going to get better and better as the weeks go on.

"Many thanks and best of luck to all the players who have entered. May the best potter prosper!"

The draw was made on Thursday in the Triangle Snooker Club for one of the oldest and most prestigious snooker trophies on the local circuit.

The bumper entry shows how much interest the competition still commands after 40 years.

The youngest player this year is a schoolboy aged just 16.

Sammy also wished to thank his assistant William Eakin, and Danny Tweed who will make the handicaps throughout the competition which gets under way this week, and also the Triangle Snooker Club for the use of their tables for the second year running.

The competition will hold prize money of 400.

The Nevin Cup First Round draw is as follows:

R Baxter v Bye

D Watt v B Darragh

M Crilly v S Hamilton

D Tweed v Bye

J Boyd v C Cunning

L Caulfield v P Cochrane

C McIntyre v M Hutchinson

P McQuillan v Bye

N Smyth v B Moore Jnr

A Moffatt v J White

R Devito v A McGonigle

W Boreland v Bye

G Cooke v D Boyce

D Henderson v A Tosh

J Huston v D Baker

C Wade v Bye

L McConaghie v M Crawley

J Rohdich v S Walker

Adam Parke v W Eakin

L Hull v C Connor

B McTaggart v C Sweeney

D Kelly v A Watt

D Reilly v P Martin

D Dillon v Bye

L McCormick v A McCorkell

D McCorkell v S McIlroy

G McClements v S McClelland

M Murphy v Bye

C Reilly v P Roulson

S Spence v G Carson

P Kelly v A Toner

D Leighton v Bye