The Ormeau Premier League team was a formidable force this season, securing the Premier British League 2022/23 title with a commanding 6-1 victory over Urban in its penultimate playoff match yesterday. The team, featuring elite players Damien Provost, Xavier Dixon, and Oriol Monzo, showcased its skill and perseverance in an exciting contest. Conor Green provided the only win for Urban, narrowly defeating Xavier Dixon in a hard-fought fifth set.
Ormeau’s impressive 6-1 victory, coupled with North Ayrshire’s 5-2 triumph over second-place Ormesby, means it is now mathematically impossible for any other team to catch up in points. The club has been on a winning streak, claiming seven of its last eight games, including a fantastic 6-1 win over Ormesby at home and a recent 7-0 win against North Ayrshire. These stellar performances have firmly established Ormeau’s position at the top of the league.
Photos by Michael Loveder
This season saw the existing team of Matt Ware, Oriol Monzo, Zak Wilson, and James Skelton joined by newcomers Damien Provost and Xavier Dixon. Promising junior player Jonathan Mooney also made his debut. Under the guidance of coach Keith Knox and manager Gervis Knox, the squad has flourished. Keith reflected on this season as coach “It was an absolute joy to coach our team this season. Every member of the team was a true professional, with an unyielding drive to succeed yet always remaining humble. Their commitment to the game gave our club players an incredible understanding of the sport, and their impressive play style has been a constant source of inspiration for us as a team.”
One standout contributor to the team’s success was Damien Provost, who maintained a perfect record by winning all eight of his games. This outstanding performance not only contributed to the team’s overall triumph but also solidified Provost’s position as a highly valuable asset to the club.
Reflecting on the success, team manager Gervis Knox said, “In 2017, we were over the moon to be included in the prestigious Premier British League. Winning the Premier Division has always been a top priority for our club, and we are thrilled to bring in professional players to train with our senior and junior members. We have been fortunate enough to attract top-notch athletes and experts in the past and continue to feel privileged to have had players such as Alexis Lebrun (World No.19) and Vitor Ishiy (World No.68) as representatives of Ormeau. We can’t wait to see what the future holds!”
Club Chairman Mr. Tom McCreery expressed his delight, stating, “It has been an absolute thrill to watch all of the amazing talents representing us in the past, and we are overflowing with pride for our current team. Can you believe that a club less than 10 years old from Northern Ireland has won the British Premier League? It is a truly incredible achievement!”
The club would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to the supporters who attended matches, as well as those who commented, liked, and shared social media posts throughout the year. Your enthusiasm and dedication have been instrumental in promoting table tennis further in Northern Ireland.
A special thanks is due to the faithful umpires, Adrian Brown, Jay McAlister, and Adam Brown, for bringing professional standards to all home matches. Additionally, the club appreciates the efforts of those involved in match day preparation and everyone who played a part in the team’s success.
Ormeau Table Tennis Club is especially grateful to their British League sponsors Almac, Chubb & Lockton, who have provided invaluable support over the past few years. Without their backing, it would be difficult to field such a strong team and host high-quality home fixtures.
With the league title secured, Ormeau Table Tennis Club still has one match remaining against Ormesby on Saturday, 20th May, at their home venue near Middlesbrough. We look forward to visiting them and partaking in the presentation of the Premier League trophy and medals. This final match offers an opportunity for the team to finish on a high and celebrate their well-earned victory!
Ormeau’s incredible journey as a club and the special achievements this season stand testament to the dedication, talent, and hard work of its players, coaches, and management. The Premier British League 2022/23 title is a crowning moment in the club’s history and is one about which Ormeau is truly proud.