Having been far from perfect in wins over Martin Gould and Stephen Maguire in previous round, O’Sullivan’s opponent knew him only too well, having beaten him last month at the Champion of Champions final.

Since that defeat, O’Sullivan was spurred on by landing the Shanghai Masters to add to the English Open he won in October.

Murphy started the final well at the Barbican in York, with a century, and very much kept O’Sullivan on his toes. Plenty of half-century breaks contributed to a superb first session finishing at 4-4.

O’Sullivan, who didn’t want a repeat performance of the evening session in Coventry when he let Murphy get too far ahead, dominated from the off. A 104 and 103 to take his career century list to 916, gave the Essex man a healthy 8-5 lead and, when Murphy failed to chalk up a response with a possible 147 on offer, he realised the game was up as O’Sullivan took the first of the Triple Crown titles on offer and equal the 18 that Stephen Hendry won in his career.

With nearly £500,000 in prize money alone this season, O’Sullivan took home £170,000 and his 31st ranking title, with Hendry on 36, but the Rocket was as modest as ever speaking afterwards to the BBC. “The records are great. I tried my best all week and there’s nothing left. I’m over the moon to win any tournament, let alone the UK Championship,” said the recently turned 42 year-old.