Brian Casey and Stuart Grehan find themselves five shots back heading into the final day at Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, Golf and Spa in Shropshire.
Headfort’s Casey was stuck in the mud after posting two birdies and two bogeys in an even par effort that sees him sit in a share of 17th at minus-three.
Casey was joined by Tullamore’s Grehan who enjoyed a much better day, firing five birdies for a four-under par 67 with the Irish pair trailing five shots off the pace but not without hope heading into the final day.
It proved a tough tournament for Ireland’s raiders but Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith returned a two-under par round of 69 to move into a tie for 34th at minus-one.
Woodcote Park’s Peter Williamson was the only other Irishman to advance to Friday’s final round after he carded a second successive 71 for an even par 36-hole total.
The unlucky members of Ireland’s travelling party were Old Conna’s Neil O’Briain and Shannon’s Daniel Brennan who at one-over par, missed out on the cut mark by a single shot.
The big shock from our point of view remained Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell who, despite being Ireland’s main contender for a top-5 spot on the money-list and the Challenge Tour card that goes with, missed the cut by eight shots after an uncharacteristic two round display.
At the top, Richard Mansell, James Allan, and Mitch Waite are tied for the lead heading into the final day.
Mansell (Beau Desert Golf Club) went seven deep for a round of 64 to lead by one stroke in a knock that included five birdies and an eagle and no bogeys.
Allan (Chelmsford Golf Club) was bogey-free as well with a round of 68 (-3) to go eight-under for the week. Waite was the overnight tied clubhouse leader and the Filton Golf Club man kept it up for three under on day two to give him a share of the lead.
Trailing by one shot is Miles Collins (Stoke by Nayland Golf Club) who makes his first cut of the season in a second round that included five birdies and an eagle to balance out a few blips.
Sean Towndrow (Southport & Ainsdale GC / Golfing4Life) is tied for fourth with Sam Robertshawe (Arrmy GC/Puttenham Construction) who went tied for the lead earlier in the afternoon before dropping back alongside Todd Clements (Brocket Hall Golf Club) who had rounds of 67 and 69.
Full Scoring HERE