MOSCONI CUP: Granite Gray was a hero in the Ryder Cup of pool

Mark Gray after winning a Mosconi Cup singles match.
Mark Gray after winning a Mosconi Cup singles match.
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Bourne-based Mark ‘Granite’ Gray completed a great year in 9-ball pool by helping Europe to a convincing success in the Mosconi Cup at the Alexandra Palace.

The Mosconi Cup is billed as the ‘Ryder Cup’ of pool as Europe battle for the trophy against the United States.

Mark Gray hugs his partner after a Mosconi Cup doubles victory.

Mark Gray hugs his partner after a Mosconi Cup doubles victory.

And Gray, the 43 year-old resident professional of Bourne Snooker Club, played a huge part in Europe’s 11-3 romp by winning four of his five rubbers.

Gray went into an event televised live on Sky Sports as the number one ranked played in both Great Britain and Europe.

And his form over the season has led to invitations to play in two huge events next year, the World Pool Masters and the World Cup of Pool when he will partner Mosconi Cup team-mate Darren Appleton in a competition to be staged in China in April.

Gray said: “The Mosconi Cup was again an amazing experience. It was my third appearance and Europe have won all three.

Mark Gray is mobbed by his European team-mates.

Mark Gray is mobbed by his European team-mates.

“The atmosphere at the Ally Pally was unbelievable with 2,200 spectators watching every session and Team Europe just bonded so well.

“To win 11-3 was surprising, but we put them under pressure from the start and didn’t let up. We just seem more comfortable playing live on TV than the Americans.

“It was probably my best Mosconi Cup performance and just a shame I lost my last doubles match 5-4 alongside Darren Appleton.

“It completed a great year for me as I won my sixth European tour event in Austria and finished number one in Europe and Great Britain.

Winner Mark Gray.

Winner Mark Gray.

“All these great results have earned me invitations to two massive Matchroom-backed events next year.”

Gray picked up points with a 5-1 singles win and wins by 5-2 and 5-3 in the doubles. He was also part of a 5-2 win in the team match that kicked off the competition.

Gray also helped Europe win the Mosconi Cup in 2008 in Malta and 2014 in Blackpool.