Some of the most competitive table tennis in the Clacton and District League is often found in Division Two and the 2017-18 season, which began on Monday, looks likely to prove no different.
The two teams relegated from Division One last year were separated by just a single point and they start as joint-favourites to make a speedy return to the top-flight.
Windsor Owls, who this season play as Brotherhood H, have added the experience of Mark Ratcliffe and youthful exuberance of Woody Fitzpatrick to regulars Frank Burbidge, Mark Salter and Tricia Salter. And they, with Lawford's now-familiar threesome of Paul Hewitt, Richard Spence and Ian Sherwood, supported by a host of capable reserves, will be the teams to beat.
Brotherhood F were just a handful of points away from promotion last year and their unchanged quartet, skippered by Barry Allen, won't be far away from the top whilst John Marshall's Nomads Tigers, who include Eric Lemke and Colchester League player Pawel Szermo, will also be eyeing a top four position.
But if you're looking for an outside bet for promotion, look no further than Walton E whose fast-improving juniors, Jared Chelski and Daniel Young, could well propel their side to the upper reaches of the Division.
The new-look Brotherhood I side of Paul Alden, Fred Gallone, Graham Parkes and John Wrigley should be able to achieve a top-half finish whilst Ferdy Rodriguez's Windsor Harriers and Ray Chillingworth's Windsor Buzzards will doubtless occupy their traditional mid-table positions.
Of the remaining four teams, Walton D retain last year's quintet and will continue to rely on Rivhu Khan and evergreen John Long, whilst Nomads Jaguars, captained by Caroline North, are supplemented by Andrew Cawley and Mike Wellum. Both teams finished clear of the relegation zone last year and both have enough fire-power to do the same again.
All of which is bad news for Duncan Dunne's Brotherhood E and John Plummer's Windsor Magpies, both unchanged, who start as pre-season relegation favourites.
In Division Three relegated Nomads Pumas, led again by the ever-youthful Lionel Goddard, start as the likeliest pace-setters.
But both Windsor Penguins, without Zoe Strange but strengthened by Paul Dale and Sue Chillingworth, and an unchanged Nomads Caracals, who include talented players Chris Jones and Denise Thompson, will be on the Pumas' tail and vying for a promotion place.
Mark Beckham drops down a Division to join Brotherhood G and, with Graham Healey fit again and Paul Metcalf continuing to impress, they could find themselves in the promotion mix, as could Nomads Lynx, the promise of Liam Harris and company augmented this season by the experience of Doug Green.
Windsor Kites enjoyed their best-ever season in 2016-17 and their unchanged team will be aiming to improve on last year's eighth place whilst Nomads Leopards, without Tom Collins this year, have a distinctly fifty-per-cent look about them and, if they're able to put out a full side each week, should be able to maintain mid-table equanimity.
Windsor Swallows is a mix of the old and new, experienced and inexperienced. Iris Howlett and Angela Barratt are joined by Mark Lamb, Robbie Strutt, Diane Self and newcomer John Tew, and there seems little to choose between them and Sue Lee's same-again Nomads Ocelots.
Brotherhood J battled hard on debut last season and, with Maci Harvey and new signing Danny Still added to their squad, they will be determined to finish at least one place better this time around.