JOE Cullen celebrated a 10-8 win over Chris Dobey in emotional fashion following arguably the tie of Sunday's double session, at the Betfred World Matchplay 2021.

Cullen landed a ten-darter and an 11-dart leg as he took an early 4-2 lead, before Dobey won three in a row to move ahead and also held a 6-5 advantage.

Cullen, though, showed the form which has earned him two ProTour titles in 2021 so far by moving back ahead at 9-7, taking out a key 97 finish after Dobey missed the bull for a 161 checkout to level.

Double ten kept Dobey in the contest, but Cullen was first to a finish in the next and double eight moved him into the last 16 for a third time in four years.

"It's so nice to get the win," said Cullen. "I've played some great games but I've always been on the wrong end of them so to come out on the right end of them is really pleasing.

"A lot's been going on away from darts for me personally, so to get a win like that, on a stage like that against a good friend like that, it does mean a lot to me.

"I'm really good friends with Chris away from the oche and he was gracious in defeat.

"It was a great game - the crowd make things so much better and that game wouldn't have been as good as it was without them."

Cullen moves onto the second round on Wednesday evening (7:00 PM), and comes up against Peter Wright , who cruised to a 10-2 victory against Danny Noppert on Sunday.

The format of the second round will see the tie contested with a 'best of 21 legs', two more than the first round.

In round two, Cullen will form part of the 'bottom half' side, which includes the likes of Gary Anderson and Michael van Gerwen.

£150,000 is up for grabs for the tournament's winner, however money will still be awarded to the competitors and it will vary depending on how far they get.

First round losers received £10,000, and those who are knocked out in the second round will receive £15,000.