Mark Bennett (snooker player)
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23 September 1963 |
|Highest ranking||24 (1993/1994)|
|Highest break||141 (1995 German Open)|
|Best ranking finish||Semi-final (1996 Grand Prix)|
After winning the Welsh amateur title in 1985, he turned professional the following year. He was ranked in the top 32 for four seasons between 1991 and 1995, reaching a high rank of 24 in 1993. Throughout his thirteen-year professional career he never reached a ranking final, but managed to reach several tournament quarter-finals and semi-finals. His last, and most famous, run to a ranking semi-final was in the 1996 Grand Prix.  On the way he knocked out four seeded players, Peter Ebdon 5–3, Chris Small 5–0, Steve Davis 5–3 (from 0–3 down) and Tony Drago 5–1, before losing 3–6 to Euan Henderson in the semi-finals after having led 3–1 at the interval. His quarter-final against Drago was particularly memorable for Drago hurling his cue at the table and storming out of the arena at the end of the match, with Drago later accusing Bennett of bad sportsmanship because Bennett, who had trapped Drago in a snooker that yielded 24 points in the final frame, suggested twice to the referee that he thought Drago had missed the red ball on purpose.
He qualified for the World Championship four times between 1987 and 1994, but never made it past the first round, coming closest in the 1990 event when he lost 9–10 to John Parrott.
Following his promising result in the 1996 Grand Prix, Bennett's career went into decline, and he eventually retired from professional snooker in 1999; however, he still occasionally plays in Welsh Amateur League matches and works as a snooker coach in the Monmouthshire region.
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