TENNIS teams from a Shropshire school have taken a step closer to the national finals of a hotly-contended competition.

The boys, girls and mixed teams at Ellesmere College all made it through the county and regional events of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) National Senior Students Competition and will compete in the regional finals next month.

Their success comes just a month after the Year 7 and 8 girls reached their highest ever place in the National Finals, reaching third place in the competition at Bolton Arena.

Stephen Welti, director of tennis at the college, said he was "very proud" of the achievements.

He said: “This is the priority schools tennis competition for secondary schools in Great Britain and we are delighted to have achieved our best results yet for the girls in December and to have three teams reach the regional finals is a huge achievement.

“Games come thick and fast with localised leagues which help us progress on to the final stages.

“Organised by the LTA, the competitions are tough and players need to be on their top game each time they perform.

“These individuals put in a lot of practice and did just that - they have achieved some great results both in their singles and doubles matches working as a team, I am very proud of them all.”

The players who will compete in a knockout competition next month for a place in the national finals are: Dorian Puzovic, Tillman Bergmeyer, Emilis Jukna, Konstantin Weissflecker, Archie Dubbins, Jana Neigel, Hetti Czech, Teresa Teschendorf and Maria Barysaite.

The Year 7 and 8 girls team are Aditi Chezhian, Lili Harvey Hemming, Ellie Edwards and Millie Fradley.

All the players are members of the tennis academy at the school and every week attend six hours of squad training, two strength and conditioning sessions, plus as many hours of individual coaching and match practice that be schedule around their academic timetable.

There are currently 20 tennis players on individual advancement programmes at Ellesmere College.