THE Leigh & Westcliff LTA have put on their first ever Junior Challenge Tournament.

The event was run in conjunction with the Lawn Tennis Association (East Area) and was hosted by Leigh Road Baptist LTC and Invicta LTC.

And Leigh & Westcliff LTA junior secretary Graham Ray felt the competition was a huge success.

“It was designed for the starter-improve player to give them an initial taste of competitive play in a fun type environment and it went well,” said Ray.

“All affiliated clubs to the Leigh and Westcliff LTA were invited to enter teams with up to six players in a team and multiple clubs took part.”

Those taking part were aged between 11 and 14 and used green intermediate tennis balls to improve their rallying skills.

Garons, Thorpe Bay, Wickford, Westcliff Hardcourts and Rayleigh all took part in matches that lasted 10 minutes and used a continual tie-break method of scoring.

The winners of the event were the boys and girls from Wickford LTC, who beat Rayleigh LTC by four points.

But Ray was pleased with how the matches panned out.

“The event was played in a good competitive spirit,” said Ray.

“Junior League Tennis has been in decline for some years now due to the pressures of getting players to the Match Venues.

“It was therefore most encouraging that this type of event fitted so much more successfully with all concerned.”