DARYL Gurney admits that he was left “sick to the stomach” after losing his World Championship quarter-final in a deciding leg.

The Northern Irishman missed out in a thriller to eventual champion Gerwyn Price 5-4 as it went all the way to the final leg at the Ally Pally on New Year’s Day.

But Gurney, 34, has vowed not to dwell on any negatives on a Worlds runs that proved again he can deliver on the big stage.

He said: “I’m not going to sit here and lie and say it wasn’t gutting. I was sick to the stomach. It was a big match. I came back from two-nil and four-two down and felt I could pinch it.

“I had a chance to win it and then who knows once you get into the last four, plus a big rival would have been out in Gerwyn.

“But that’s sport, it’s all if’s and but’s I guess. It’s out of my system now, I’m looking ahead and need to make sure that I use that belief going forward.

“I was reasonably happy with how things went in the Worlds overall. You can’t help but want more. I did enough damage to show people what I can do again.

“At no stage leading up to or during the World Championship did any pundit or anyone for that fact mention me as a threat. I’ve said before, I kind of like being off the radar so that doesn’t bother me.

“However it is important in so many ways for people to appreciate that I am a top player and I need to keep proving that.”

That one leg defeat by Price could well have cost Gurney his place in the Premier League, arguably costing him £50,000 in prize money and commercial benefits.

But Gurney could still grab that last league place with a good display in the Ladbrokes Masters in Milton Keynes in a fortnight.

He faces Jeffrey de Zwaan in the first round on opening night and admitted: “I think realistically there’s only two or three players who should get that last place. If I win it I’m in the Premier League.

“To be totally honest, I just want to keep up my form from the Worlds. There’s a lot of passion back after a difficult year and I know I can beat the best when I’m in that mood.”

By Phil Lanning