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Young stars aiming to shine under floodlights at Nutty Krust Tournament

By Robert Jones

Rugby aficionados had a reason to celebrate this week as the fixtures were announced for the 36th annual Nutty Krust Rugby Floodlit Tournament.

The tournament begins on February 11 and will see Under-18 players from 11 clubs competing every Wednesday evening at Chambers Park, the home of Portadown RFC.

The first round fixtures, drawn by John Kinnear, President of Ulster Branch (IRFU), comprises of three matches including last year's semi-finalists Banbridge, who will take on Omagh.

This year, five teams - Portadown, Ballynahinch, Dromore, Randalstown and last year's runners-up Malone - received a bye into the quarter-finals.

Irwin's Bakery have been supporting the tournament since the first match was played 36 years ago. Brian Irwin, Chairman of Irwin's Bakery, explained: "The much-loved tournament is a fantastic opportunity for young talent to hone their skills and play competitively at a high level against their peers from across Northern Ireland.

"Irwin's has a long history of supporting grassroots sports development in a range of different disciplines - and it's been rewarding over the years to have seen young players progress from the tournament to the highest level in the sport."

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