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.