Lawford once again showed they’re the most consistent and reliable team in Division Two over recent seasons, this week beating Nomads Tigers 6-4 to confirm they will finish as runners-up to Brotherhood D.

John Colvin starred for Lawford, his hat-trick including an 11-9 in the fifth win over Tigers’ captain Dave Miller. But his clash with the Tigers’ number one Denes Somodi was even more impressive, the two left-handers engaging in a battle of attrition, with Colvin’s long-pimpled backhands eventually disrupting Somodi’s attacking flare to narrowly come out on top 3-2 (11-9, 13-11, 9-11, 14-12). It was only a second defeat of the season for Somodi.

Charlie Denholm picked up two for Lawford and their ever-dependable skipper Ian Sherwood completed their side’s scoring with one. For the Tigers, there were two for Somodi and one for Miller, the pair sharing an 11-5 in the decider doubles victory against Denholm and Sherwood.

Over the last 11 years, Lawford have twice been promoted to Division One and twice promptly been relegated but, in the nine seasons they’ve played in Division Two, they’ve finished as champions once, runners-up twice, third on three occasions and fourth, also on three occasions. A notable record of consistency.

Elsewhere, Brotherhood B’s improved second-half season form continued with a 7-3 victory over Walton D. Every player picked up at least one point but Brotherhood’s Mark Salter stayed unbeaten, his three including a 12-10 in the fifth win over Clive Allenby. Paul Alden’s couple included an 11-7 in the fifth win over Andy Foster.

Windsor Penguins and Nomads Jaguars enjoyed a hard-fought scrap, with the teams eventually sharing the spoils. Scott Campbell stayed unbeaten for the Penguins while there were two each for Chris Petrou and Kevin Hogg of the Jaguars.

Brotherhood C beat Windsor Kestrels 7-3, with three from Mark Boyland, two from Paul Metcalf and one from Mark Beckham. Kestrels’ captain Graham Bunce won two and Allen Denyer one. So Brotherhood C finish in a respectable mid-table fifth place but, alas for the Kestrels, they finish well adrift at the bottom.

In Division Three, Tricia Salter, Tony Edmonds and Rodney Betts of top team Brotherhood E predictably defeated Nomads Lynx 10-0. Betts’ 11-6 in the fifth win over Gerry Widnell was the closest match of the encounter.

Nearest rivals Windsor Harriers defeated Brotherhood G 7-3 and Nomads Leopards 6-4, Ferdy Rodriguez unbeaten in the latter match, with Jenny Higgins recording a crucial victory over Dominic Joannou.

These results mean Brotherhood E are just one point ahead of the Harriers and, with the two teams due to meet in the final week of the season, Brotherhood only need a draw to take the title, while the Harriers must win to ensure top spot.

A buoyant Brotherhood F drew for the first time this season, this against Nomads Leopards. JJ Barry and Ruby Gallagher each took two, Barry beating Bob Jillins 11-8 in the decider and Gallagher defeating Dominic Joannou by the same score. Jillins and Joannou won two apiece for the Leopards.

It was all-square between Walton E and Nomads Bobcats for a second time this season. Five of the matches went the distance, with every player getting on the scoresheet. In a closely fought encounter, Lynette Sparks took her maximum for Walton, beating Matt Sage 11-7 in the decider. Adrian Sexton beat Alex Baldock in three, while Deborah Pallett narrowly defeated Jack Riddleston 11-8 in the fifth. For the Bobcats, Sage won two, Baldock edged out Pallett 12-10 in the decider, Riddleston defeated Sexton 11-7 in the decider, with Sage and Baldock taking the doubles 11-8 in the decider against Sparks and Sexton.

Trebles for John Plummer and Alan Rutledge saw Windsor Magpies home 7-3 against Nomads Ocelots. There was one each for Arthur Wells-Garrett and Lily Miaomei Liu, while the pair recorded the Ocelots’ third doubles win of the season, a fine 3-1 (13-11, 6-11, 11-9, 13-11) victory over Plummer and Rutledge.

In Division One, Greg Green, Gill Locke and John Hatley of champions Nomads Panthers were 10-0 winners over the luckless and already-relegated Windsor Buzzards, the only team in the League without a win to their name this season.

Brotherhood A confirmed they will be runners-up after beating Walton B 6-4. The ever-dependable Kevin Gowlett won his three, although it was a tight fight against Peter Burrows, 11-9 in the decider. Burrows and Gavin Price each won two for Walton, Burrows getting past Russell Hillier 11-8 in the fifth.

Windsor Hawks warmed up for their Cup Final meeting with Walton C with a 7-3 League win, Daniel Young unbeaten and Andy Vincent winning two. Felipe Rodriguez took one but came close to a hat-trick, losing 12-10 in the fifth to Mark Ratcliffe and 13-11 in the fifth to Mark Gale. Gale took two for Walton.  

* The Handicap Knock-Out Cup final this year between Walton C and Windsor Hawks will be held on Tuesday 2nd April at the Brotherhood Hall, with play starting at 7.30pm. All spectators are welcome and admission is free.

* The League’s Closed Championships, sponsored by The Survey Initiative, courtesy of Gary Cattermole, take place at the Coastal Academy Sports Hall on Saturday 6th April and Sunday 7th April. 65 players will be competing for 14 titles. Further details, including information about check-in times, will be sent to all entrants by 2nd April.

* The League was saddened to learn of the death this week of Mike Baldwin, who collapsed and died during a Colchester League match. Mike was Chairman of Tollgate Table Tennis Club and had become a stalwart of the Colchester League. However, many longer-serving players in the area will remember Mike as a member of the Clacton League in the 1970s and 1980s when he played for Brotherhood in the First Division alongside Dave Johns, Gordon Smith and Mike Stickland. We send our sincerest condolences to Mike’s family.

Division 1
Windsor Buzzards 0 Nomads Panthers 10
Walton C 3 Windsor Hawks 7
Brotherhood A 6 Walton B 4
Nomads Lions 0 Windsor Eagles 10 (w/o)
Division 2
Walton D 3 Brotherhood B 7
Windsor Penguins 5 Nomads Jaguars 5
Lawford 6 Nomads Tigers 4
Brotherhood C 7 Windsor Kestrels 3
Division 3
Nomads Ocelots 3 Windsor Magpies 7
Nomads Lynx 10 Brotherhood E 0
Nomads Leopards 4 Windsor Harriers 6
Brotherhood F 5 Nomads Leopards 5
Windsor Harriers 7 Brotherhood G 3
Walton E 5 Nomads Bobcats 5