On the verge of his first major final, Daryl Gurney is confident he has what it takes to beat current UK Open champion Peter Wright, despite the Scots’ winning streak this year.

The duo meet in tonight’s World Matchplay semi-final (7.20pm) with Snakebite looking to edge a step closer to adding to his first big title and clock up a tenth PDC victory this year.

But Derry’s Gurney is also on an upward curve.

Now ranked at 16 in the Order of Merit, Gurney made it to the quarter-finals of the World Championship, the semi-finals of the UK, where he was beaten by Wright, the final of the US Masters, and also claimed his first ranking title on the circuit in April.

Asked what he puts his upsurge in form down to, Gurney told RTÉ Sport: "A bit more dedication, a bit more belief in myself.

"I’ve won more on the European tour, and it gives you good experience when you come to a televised tournament because the set-up is more or less the same.

"I’ve beaten [Wright] when he was playing his best. It doesn’t matter how he’s playing, I can still beat him.

"If he’s 100% or 95% I can still beat him.

"I’ve been there, day in, day out watching him play so I know how he is.

"I think losing the Premier League when he had six darts to win it. That’s maybe a slight reason why...he’s just dropped that one or two per cent.

"I treat [this match] the same, I try my best every single day, to put who I’m playing under pressure. If they miss they miss. I try and take it out.

"I try to up my percentages, my finishing, hit a lot of 180s and always give myself the best chance to win the leg, try to keep in the fight."

The 31-year-old was beaten by eventual champion Michael van Gerwen in the World Championships last December but had survived a dramatic encounter with Mark Webster in the previous round.

After being booed by the crowd and then missing doubles to close the game out, Gurney reacted, sarcastically applauding the Alexandra Palace masses before eventually nailing a double 20 to progress.

He now recognises that he "can’t afford to do that" and is eager to learn from his mistakes.

"I never do that," said Gurney, who has beaten world number two Gary Anderson and number seven Mensur Suljovic to reach the semi-final.  

"That’s the only time I’ve been booed, whatever situation was going on there against Mark Webster but I didn’t intend to do that, it was a spur of the moment thing.

"The way I look at it, you’ve got to make mistakes to learn from them so I‘d rather it happened then than now.

"I was always going to make that mistake sooner rather than later. I obviously learned from my mistake so I know not to do it again."

Last night saw a massive twist in the Blackpool tale with Van Gerwen, unbeaten in a televised ranking event since 2015, hammered 16-6 by 15-time winner Phil Taylor.

An overwhelming favourite before the games began, the Dutchman is out.

Was Gurney surprised, does he feel the tournament has been blown wide open?

"I seen it, I saw the crowd was on Michael’s back," he said.

"He missed doubles and stuff like that, which he never does, especially when he’s got three darts in hand for a double.

"It doesn’t matter how much they boo he still usually hits it so I was surprised at that but fair play to Phil, he done well.

"He was still under pressure, he still had to finish off the legs so it was a great result.

"That’s on the other side of the draw [so] I’m just concentrating on Peter Wright.

"If I get to the final then I’ll probably watch the other semi-final to see who wins between Adie [Lewis] and Phil but until I get through my game I’ll not look to the final."