Newmarket Snooker Centre(Sunday 10th January 1999)
Paul Bennett came out top from the 46 entries to win his second
consecutive ranking event in dramatic fashion at the Newmarket
The early rounds saw Stephen Crosland produce one of the best
performances, making breaks of 111, 101 and 63 to record an aggregate
of 432 in his 1 hour match against R. Alger. Phil Welham however,
produced the highest aggregate of the competition in the second round,
with his 458 scored against P. Usher. This included breaks of 97 and
58. This was as close as anyone except Crosland came to the century
mark in the early rounds, and by a strange coincidence it was matched
by Bennett when he defeated Welham by 65 points in the quarter-finals.
Gary Rogers continued his good form, defeating Phil Davis in the
quarters, before losing out to the consistency of Paul Bennett in the
semi-final. Rogers was in play with 94 at the bell, falling 36 points
short of the English Champion, whose best break had been just 65.
Darren Kell had progressed to the semi-final without undue exertion,
but was at this stage confronted by a barrage of high scoring from
Crosland, who dominated the match to win by 123 points.
Entering the final, Crosland had made century breaks in each round of
the competition, and saving his best until last, he forged in front with an
early break of 169. With just 15 minutes of the match remaining, he had
established a lead of 129 and may have been forgiven for thinking he
had done enough. However, Bennett, who until this point had failed to
record a century break all day, played out time with a rapid-fire 179 to
snatch victory by 53 points. This timely return to form also earned
Bennett the high break prize, which had seemed at one stage destined
to gowith the winners trophyto the unfortunate Crosland who must
have been left wondering just what he had to do to secure victory.
118, 55, 53
96, 54, 94unf
The Plate was won by David Nichols, who had a break of 52 in defeating
Colin Summers 350-179 in the one-hour final.