POOL: Joy of six for Baston’s Gray

On the up: Mark Gray has shot into the top six of the European rankings. Photo supplied
On the up: Mark Gray has shot into the top six of the European rankings. Photo supplied
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RED-HOT pool maestro Mark Gray has shot up to sixth in the European rankings after a brilliant win in Belgium.

The Baston-based World nine-ball semi-finalist, who often plays in the Spalding and District Snooker League, saw off over 170 other competitors to land a title in Leuven.

As a result, Gray pocketed 2,500 Euros and a place in the top six of Europe’s elite, as well as a new World ranking of 27.

Gray breezed through his qualifying group in emphatic fashion, winning 5-1, 5-1, 5-2 and 6-2.

He then beat newly-crowned 10-ball World Champion Hudji See from Holland 7-3 in the last 32, before eliminating Frenchman Emmanuel Lemaire 7-2 in the last 16.

Dutch player Brian Beekers was next in his firing line and was dispatched 7-5 in the quarter-final.

More opposition from Holland awaited in the semis, in the shape of Dutch number one Niels Feijens.

But Gray was on a roll and swept aside the Netherlands ace 8-5 to secure a spot in the showpiece final.

There, Gray was up against Swiss number one Dimitri Jungo – a player he had never previously beaten.

The match looked to be going with form as the Baston potter fell 7-3 behind in the race to eight.

However, that sparked Gray into action as he re-grouped and reeled off five successive frames to win the trophy.

The trophy win is the latest in a string of successive showings at big events.

In his last three tournaments, the Bourne Snooker Centre’s resident nine-ball professional, has reached two semi-finals and won the other.

His next Euro Tour event is in Brandenberg, Germany.