GERWYN Price banished memories of last year’s early exit at the BoyleSports World Grand Prix in Coventry after a convincing straight sets win over Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena.

The world number three, from Markham, recovered from 2-0 down on Wednesday night to win the first set 3-2, before securing his place in the Second Round with a 3-2 in the second set.

Price crashed out of the competition at the first hurdle last year, losing 2-1 to eventual finalist Dave Chisnall, but said he will need to improve if he is to progress further in this year’s tournament.

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“I’m pleased to be through but I didn’t play my best,” he said.

“I couldn’t get off. If you give me one dart at a double at the end of a leg then I seem to take it, but I’m useless with three in my hand.

“I’ve got to improve that in the next round. I put myself under a lot of pressure because you need to get off and you need to finish, but I scored ok when I did get going.”

Price’s next assignment will be against Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts, who recovered from a set down to defeat 2011 runner-up Brendan Dolan 2-1.

The second night of the competition was one for the underdogs, as although Price edged past his opponent, Peter Wright and Nathan Aspinall suffered shock first round exits.

Wright and Aspinall, who will both compete in the Premier League Play-Offs later in October, were defeated in straight-sets by Ryan Joyce and Gabriel Clemens respectively.

A runner-up two years ago, Wright was knocked out at the first round stage for the first time since 2016 by debutant Joyce, who showed incredible accuracy on his chosen starting double 16 throughout.

The Geordie averaged over 102 on his way to taking the opening set, though Wright looked likely to level it up as he threw first in the deciding leg of set two.

However, Wright took seven darts to begin scoring and, after hitting a 180 to get himself back in the leg, then missed three darts at finishing double to allow Joyce to once again pin double 16 for the win.

Joyce will take on Dave Chisnall in round two after the world number ten dispatched of highly-fancied Glen Durrant 2-0.

Aspinall, who made the quarter-finals on his World Grand Prix debut in 2019, was soundly beaten by German debutant Clemens.

The two-time TV champion Aspinall needed 54 to take the match to a deciding set, but crucially missed single 14 to mean he had just one attempt at double top, which he missed to allow Clemens to reach the last 16 for the fifth time in his last six TV outings.

The second round is underway, with matches spread over October 8-9, before the quarter-finals are held on Saturday, October 10. The semi-finals will take place on Sunday, October 11 and the final on Monday, October 12.