There’ll be no shortage of home support flocking to Kells over the weekend after Gavin Moynihan fired himself right into contention at the Stone Irish Challenge at Headfort.
The Dubliner showed all the class of a Main Tour regular in recording five birdies as part of a bogey-free five-under par 67 on the pristine New Course.
With the display, the Mount Juliet Touring pro has moved into third, trailing just two strokes behind Spaniard Emilio Cuartero Blanco who leads the field at nine-under par.
Also right in the action is Ardglass professional, Cormac Sharvin who signed for his second successive 69 to move to within three at six-under.
The 27-year old, who’s led the way for Ireland on the Challenge Tour all year, is looking to pick up his first win of the season to add to his most consistent campaign in the pro ranks to date.
He currently lies 8th on the Road to Mallorca standings and with a good weekend, his European Tour status for next season should be assured.
Lying just outside the top-20 are three young home talents not without hope either after Naas clubmates, Conor O’Rourke and Jonathan Yates joined Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith in making the 36-hole mark in two-under par.
Galbraith returned his second consecutive 71 to continue a run of form that saw him breeze into Stage Two Q-School in November while Yates ground out an even par round that included three birdies and three bogeys in a stiff breeze.
O’Rourke, who also cruised through to Second Stage, carded only one blemish on the day with a double-bogey at the par-4 12th but responded brilliantly with four birdies in total to move into the weekend with plenty of encouragement.
Michael Hoey’s challenge took a hit on day two after the five-time European Tour winner could only manage a three-over par round of 75 to drop back to even par for the tournament and just inside the top-40.
Joining Hoey at two-under is Castleknock’s David Carey who posted another even par round of 72, while Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell battled bravely with a second round 70 to also move to even, well inside the cut mark.
Tullamore’s Stuart Grehan was hovering around the magic mark all day before the cards fell in his favour after a second successive 73 saw him advance on the number at two-over par. Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy also progressed on the number despite a late wobble and he’ll hope to make weekend strides with 11 shots separating first to last with 36-holes to play.
However, with the plus-threes losing out, Tramore’s Robin Dawson (+3) and The Island’s Paul McBride (+3) can feel most aggrieved while Rosapenna’s Ruaidhri McGee (+5), Rory McNamara (+7) also missed out along with Old Conna’s Neil O’Briain who was forced to withdraw on day two.
Full scoring HERE