Wellingborough's O'Neill edges Murphy to move into the last 16
There was little to choose between the former practice partners in Milton Keynes and O’Neill knocked in breaks of 61, 64 and 67 to hold a 4-3 lead before Murphy forced a deciding frame.
And O’Neill held his nerve with a break of 56 to eventually book himself a place in the last 16 of a ranking tournament for just the third time in his career.
O’Neill, currently ranked 82 in the world, said: “It was tense in the last frame, I felt like I was shaking like the proverbial.
“I was just taking my time, I didn’t care what I looked like or how slow I was. I just needed to hold myself together and rely on the practice I have done.
“Shaun missed a couple that he wouldn’t normally miss and it got me through. I am buzzing.
“On the TV tables you’ve got to play well, you’ve got to cue well. I didn’t cue great but I am getting better each time I go on the TV table.
“The more experience I am getting, the more I think I can play well.
“Shaun is always going to be class. I just had to try to block him out and focus on my own game.
“I used to practice with him in Raunds but when I was younger I didn’t apply myself as well as I should have done.
“But it’s nice to be back playing people of Shaun’s calibre and winning is even better.
“You have got to believe. I have got my goals that I want and need to do to stay on the Tour and I have got to go deep in tournaments.
“It’s one shot at a time and back to the practice table but I believe I can go on. I will work hard and try my hardest on every shot.”
O’Neill will now play either Jordan Brown or Graeme Dott in the next stage tomorrow (Thursday) evening.