POOL: Huntingdon star Luke Gilbert pipped in thrilling European Championships final

Luke Gilbert (right) is presented with his trophy.

Luke Gilbert (right) is presented with his trophy. - Credit: Archant

Huntingdon potter Luke Gilbert was denied European glory in a final-frame decider.

Gilbert was pipped 7-6 by England team-mate Enrico Forgione in a dramatic conclusion to the junior singles at the recent European Championships in Malta.

The local talent trailed 5-2 and 6-4 before clawing his way level, only to be beaten in the closing frame.

Gilbert said: “I knew the standard was going to be high, but I’m happy to have bettered reaching the quarter-finals last year.

“I was pleased with the way I competed in the final to force the final-frame decided, but I’m also disappointed not to have won.

“I know I can compete now – especially under pressure – so I’ll be hoping to perform well at the World Championships.”

Gilbert dropped only three frames in his opening four matches to reach the European final.

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He beat French opponent Adrien Marquet 5-0 in the last 32 before overcoming Ciaran Wallace of Ireland 5-2 in the next round.

Maltese player Elcid Aquilina was brushed aside 6-1 in the quarter-finals before Gilbert blitzed another England team-mate, Jasper Simmonds 6-0 in the last four.

He was also part of the England A side who bowed out of the team event at the semi-finals. He won 11 of his 15 frames in that competition.

Gilbert’s fine performances have secured automatic qualification for the World Championships later in the year.

He is also a talented snooker player, but pool will be his focus this year.