THE World Matchplay tournament resumed on Wednesday evening in Blackpool and Bradford’s Joe Cullen locked horns with Scotsman Peter Wright in a second-round tie.

Cullen progressed to this stage of the tournament by beating Chris Dobey in a thrilling 10-8 victory on Sunday evening.

It was arguably the tie of Sunday’s double session and it set up a mouth-watering fixture with Wright on Wednesday evening-the man ranked number two in the world.

Unfortunately for Cullen, he met Wright in fine form, especially in the second session and was beaten 11-5.

Wright averaged a 105.46, the best of the tournament so far this week to overcome Cullen.

Wright landed a 106 checkout on his way to a 3-0 lead but was pegged back by Cullen as the 2018 quarter-finalist reduced the arrears to 3-2 at the first interval.

Having emerged back on stage with a change of flights and stems, Wright soon opened up an 8-3 lead, landing checkouts of 103 and 85 on the way.

And Cullen spoke of his frustration following on from the defeat.

He said: “I was always going into the tournament to try and go as far as I could.

“Everyone wants to win it, but unfortunately it doesn’t always happen.

“I thought the first-round game against Chris was a really good performance and last night I think the first session killed me a little bit.

“I thought Peter wasn’t at the races in the first session but I couldn't capitalize from then on.

"He then got a lot better and he picked up the highest average in the tournament so far, so overall I was really disappointed with the way I started.

"If I'd put him under pressure early then it would have been a different story but it just wasn't to be my day."

Cullen added: "It's frustrating because I would have made it into the quarter-finals and I thought I was playing well, practising well and I was prepared.

"I couldn't get my first dart going and the way my darts go into the board it needs to be above the treble. It was just pulling lower every time and I couldn't correct my mistakes which was very frustrating.

"And as Peter started improving-I didn't have time to correct things. "

With spectators able to attend live sporting events again, it's something which Cullen believes will only benefit the sport going forward.

He said: "It's massive to get all the fans back in especially on Monday where it could be a full house as well.

"I wanted to win anyway but that was an extra incentive to get the job done against Wright.

"I think you could tell by the atmosphere on the TV what a big difference it makes. Surprisingly, it wasn't very strange having them back. I thought it might be but it just felt natural."

With the tournament continuing this week, Cullen discussed his predictions for the rest of it.

He said: "I've got two more tournaments in August in Barnsley but I'll probably have this weekend off and get back to it on Monday."

Cullen added: "I probably won't watch the rest of this tournament but my son will probably watch it and keep me informed on what's going on.

"I'm one of those where it doesn't really interest me once I'm out of the tournament.

"But if I was to call a winner, I think Gerwyn Price has got every possibility of doing so.

"He looks to be in a very good headspace and I think he seems mega focused. I certainly think he's the man to beat."