POOL: Gray continues to rise up the rankings

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BASTON’S Mark Gray enjoyed a fantastic first season as a full time professional pool player.

Gray saw off over 160 competitors to take down the last Euro tour 9-ball event of the year in Treviso, Italy, to move up to second place in the European rankings.

Gray started the year in 16th place, but three successive tour wins means only legendary German Ralf Souquet is ranked higher in Europe.

Gray, who has often featured in the Spalding and District Snooker League, lost his first match in Treviso, but a round robin format meant that five successive wins was enough to get him to the knockout stages.

Once there he saw off UK number one Imran Majid and two members of Europe’s Mosconi Cup side Chris Melling of England and Dutch number one Nico Van Den Berg. It was the first time in four attempts that Gray has beaten Van Den Berg,

And in the final Gray fought back from 8-6 down to beat Spanish champion David Alcaide 9-8 and claim the first prize of 4,500 Euros.

Gray also won the Sarajevo Open and Czech Open during this glorious run of form.

He is now ranked 26 in the world.