HUNDREDS of children were given the opportunity to showcase their capabilities on the court at the seventh annual Rayleigh Junior Schools Tennis Tournament.

Throughout the Wimbledon fortnight, Rayleigh Lawn head coach Ryan Wilson and his team of assistant coaches went into seven Rayleigh primary schools to run class tournaments for all the Year 3 and 4 pupils.

And all the individual class winners attended the finals of the competition, which were held at Rayleigh Lawn Tennis Club.

Four tournaments - for Year 3 boys, Year 4 boys, Year 3 girls and Year 4 girls - were contested, with each competition having close to 230 children taking part.

As just under 1,000 children were competing in the tournament, the youngsters knew they would have to be at their best to come away victorious.

The tournaments were run in tie-break format.

The participants were placed into groups, with all the winners and, in some cases, the highest scoring runners-up qualifying for the knockout stages.

Niamh Quinn, of Glebe Junior School, beat Grove Wood Primary School’s Yasmin Byron in a nail-biting Year 3 final.

Niamh, who is coached at both Rayleigh and Rochford Tennis Club, secured a 7-6 win to match her brother’s success in the boys event two years ago.

The Year 4 girls final saw two Edward Francis Primary School and Rayleigh Tennis Club members go head-to-head.

But Lai Soeng Mann got the better of Natasha Abshead to triumph.

The Year 3 boys competition proved to be very competitive, as the two group winners - Lewis Cardy, of Edward Francis Primary School, and Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Primary School’s Matthew Black - were knocked out in the semi-finals despite being unbeaten until that stage.

Neither of the finalists currently have a tennis club and both had to defeat Rayleigh club members in the last four of the competition.

Ethan Brunt, of Wyburns Primary School, defeated Glebe Junior School’s Ronnie Raynor to become champion.

The Year 4 boys competition produced some excellent matches en route to the final.

The finalists were Rayleigh Lawn Club players Marcus Whittington, of Edward Francis Primary School, and Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Primary School’s Zach Bradon.

They were neck-and-neck throughout the final, with no more than a point separating them until, at 6-5 up, Marcus hit the winning shot to seal a 7-5 victory.

Anyone who would like to try tennis during the school holidays should sign up for the Rayleigh Lawn Tennis Club summer camps (5-13 year olds). These are two hour sessions in the morning and run for the first three weeks of the school holidays. To sign up, visit