Peter Wright admits he’s ready to go “two steps further” and bid for a place in the Unibet Grand Prix final.
Snakebite breezed past Steve West with a whitewash 2-0 win in his first round at the Citywest in Dublin last night.
The Scot was in ruthless mood as he produced the performance of the night, averaging 98.02 and denying West a dart at a finishing double to begin his quest for a first Dublin title.
He said: “It was a really tough game as I knew it would be, Steve has beaten some of the best players in the world on TV.
“I knew I had to be on top of my game because if I wasn't then I would've been going out early doors.
“Last year I was disappointed to go out at the quarter-final stage but this year I feel ready to go two steps further.”
Wright will now meet Dutch debutant Jermaine Wattimena, who took no time to adjust to the double-start format, missing just two darts at a starting double as he blew away former finalist Mervyn King 2-0.
Steve Beaton dumped World Champion Rob Cross in a case of The Adonis deja vu - the second successive year he’s KO’d Voltage.
Making his 15th appearance at the Citywest Convention Centre, the 54-year-old proved more clinical on both starting and finishing doubles to seal his passage to the last 16 of the £400,000 tournament.
Beaton, who now faces Gerwyn Price in round two, said: “Knowing I'd beaten him at this stage last year was an advantage for me, I was determined to win again.
“We had a bit of banter in the practice room that the last time I beat him here he went on to become World Champion!
“It sounds strange to say it but Rob is more experienced than me at the moment, in terms of his big stage play in 2018 so that makes the win all the more satisfying.”
Superior scoring saw passionate Welshman Price roar his way to a 2-0 win over debutant Danny Noppert.
Having wrapped up the opening set, the world number 12 became embroiled in a second set battle as Noppert missed two darts to take the tie to a deciding set before Price punished with double five to finish the job.
The game of the evening saw former runner-up Adrian Lewis edge past Michael Smith in a high-class encounter which saw 13 maximums thrown between the pair.
Lewis took the opening set before Smith fought back to level and set up a tense third set. The tie looked set to go all the way to a deciding leg, only for Smith to miss three darts at double 12 before the two-time World Champion punished him with a 45 checkout.
Jackpot admitted: “I felt a bit edgy towards the end so I'm glad to get over the line in that one," said Lewis, a Dublin finalist in 2010.
“I knew it was going to be a tough game, Michael has been playing well for a few years now, so it's a big confidence-booster for me to get through that one.
“If I can get my pace of play right then I know I will be able to march back up the rankings, back into the top four in the world where I feel I belong."
Lewis will meet James Wilson in the second round after the Yorkshireman battled his way to a hard-fought 2-1 win over last year's runner-up Simon Whitlock.
Mensur Suljovic reached the semi-finals of last year's tournament and continued his good form on the Dublin stage as he cruised to a 2-0 victory over two-time winner James Wade.
By Phil Lanning (@lannomedia)