Dermot McElroy slipped off the lead at the Cubefunder Championship but was still the only Irishman to make the cut at the opening PGA EuroPro Tour event of the year.
The Ballymena man started the day one shot off Will Enefer’s lead but would end the day eight shots behind him after a one-over 73 at Harleyford Golf Club would see him finish the day four-under-par for the week.
In contrast, Enefer would add a second consecutive six-under 66 to move to 12-under-par, but that’s only good enough to have him in second place heading into the final round as Chelmsford’s James Allan shot an eight-under 64 to move one clear at 13-under.
McElroy will be frustrated not to be further up the leaderboard as he was always playing from behind in his second round, two birdies in his first three holes quickly dropping him over-par, but he would make the turn in level after three birdies and another bogey.
But despite opening his back nine with a birdie at the 10th, bogeys would follow at the 13th and 16th leaving him with plenty to do to mount a title challenge on day three.
Allan, meanwhile, picked up four of his nine birdies in his last five holes as he soared to the top at 13-under with his 64, with Enefer matching his birdie total but also adding three bogeys to sit one back at 12-under and Northamptonshire County’s Benjamin Jones a shot further adrift at 11-under after a 65.
Outside of McElroy there was nothing to celebrate from an Irish perspective as the remaining nine players missed the one-under cut, with Daniel Brennan coming closest as his 71 got him back to one-over-par.
Whitehead’s John-Ross Galbraith started the day at one-under but a 75 saw him tumble to two-over, while Tullamore’s Stuart Grehan’s three-under 69 – the best Irish round of the day – only good enough to get him back to two-over as well.
Galway man Ronan Mullarney finished three-over, Dundalk’s Daniel Mulligan was four-over, while PGA Catalunya’s Luke Donnelly and Chris Carroll were both five-over, as Youghal’s Conor Coyne and Harleyford’s Ignatius McGuinness ended their weeks six- and seven-over respectively.