Conor Purcell battled back from a dreadful start to his second round to make the cut at the Farmfoods Scottish Challenge but the Irish contingent will hope for a better performance over the weekend to climb the leaderboard at Newmachar.
The Portmarnock man started the day two-under but bogeyed four of his opening six holes of the day to put him at risk of missing out on the weekend, but he rallied with four birdies and only two more bogeys to reach the midway point level-par.
That meant he made the cut with a shot to spare after his two-over 73, but it was an even nervier wait for Paul Dunne and John Murphy as rounds of 74 and 73 respectively saw them both finish one-over and right on the line.
Greystones man Dunne, who also started the day two-under, was birdie-free in Aberdeenshire as three bogeys saw him finish one-over, and he was joined there by Kinsale’s Murphy, who needed a birdie at the 16th to finish on the number after five bogeys and two birdies prior to that.
Despite cutting it fine to get into the weekend, the trio aren’t that far adrift of the leaders, England’s Nathan Kimsey and Scotland’s Craig Lee, who hold a one-shot advantage at seven-under-par on a packed leaderboard.
Lee looked to be heading for the solo lead as a tidy card featuring four birdies and two bogeys led to a 69, but he would be joined on seven-under by first round leader Kimsey, who birdied his final hole to finish level-par for the day after a 71.
Switzerland’s Marco Iten and England’s Todd Clements are their nearest challengers at six-under-par, with five players a shot further back at five-under, including Spain’s Javier Sainz who had the best round of the day as he signed for a bogey-free six-under 65.
There was disappointment for the remaining Irish contingent, however, as the other four players all missed the cut, with Mallow’s James Sugrue in particular unlucky as he picked up two late birdies to give himself a chance but he would miss out by one shot at two-over after a 70.
Gavin Moynihan will also rue two bogeys in his last four holes as he missed out by a couple, a two-under 69 getting him up to three-over, the same mark Holywood teenager Tom McKibbin finished on after a four-over 75.
It was another rough day for Charlie Williams, though, as he carded a five-over 76 to finish his week 12-over-par at Newmachar.