A HAT-TRICK of European titles certainly made Darren Morgan’s trip to Romania worthwhile – but two weeks of almost non-stop snooker took its toll on the veteran potter.

The 52-year-old left-hander from Newbridge won three of the four events he entered in Bucharest and ended up playing so much he actually fell asleep during a match.

That came in the final of his last competition, the European Men’s Team Championship, where he partnered Blackwood’s Andrew Pagett.

The Gwent duo had reached the knockout stages as the best performers in the round-robin phase, before despatching Russia in the quarters and Poland in the semis.

They were 3-1 down to Ireland’s Greg Casey and Rodney Goggins in the final but won four frames in a row to triumph.

For Morgan, his campaign in Romania began with a quarter-final exit to Scotland’s eventual champion Gary Thomson in the European 6 Reds Championship.

He almost pulled out of the European Snooker Shoot-Out, where players are on the clock for each shot, but took his place in the field after consulting Pagett.

Morgan nearly produced the first tournament 147 of his long career in his last-eight clash, only to miss the 11th red.

However, a break of 37 helped him claim an 81-22 win over Switzerland’s Tom Zimmermann and his first title of the fortnight.

Up next was the one he had his eye on, the European Masters Championship.

Morgan did everything right en route to a showdown for the silverware with Ireland’s John Farrell, not dropping a single frame in the process.

That run came to an end when Farrell took the opener in the final, but Morgan levelled and the pair shared the next two.

With the match finely poised, the Welshman fired in a break of 54 to go 3-2 up and then took the sixth frame 66-34 for a 4-2 success.

Morgan and Pagett, two former professionals now on the amateur circuit, then held their nerve in the team tournament to get over the line.

“I was absolutely shattered during the team competition,” said Morgan.

“I was glad to get back home in the end because the conditions were quite challenging.

“I went there thinking I’d like to win something but to win three of the four was a bit of a joke.

“I ended up playing more snooker out there in two weeks than I had in the previous three or four months.”