Irish still in European hunt
Ireland stayed in the hunt for the European Nations title at Sotogrande on Spain's Costa Del Sol yesterday, despite being overtaken by both defending champions England and highly fancied Scotland.
Solid performances by Ballymena's Dermot McElroy and Portstewart's Paul Cutler helped to maintain Ireland's push for glory. McElroy fired a 71 to add to his 69 on Wednesday, while Walker Cup hopeful Cutler recorded a second successive 72 as Ireland finished the day in a share of fifth spot.
The rising Ballymena rising star again hardly put a foot wrong, with his short game particularly impressive.
Banbridge's Rory Leonard and Alan Dunbar were out of sorts and carded 78 and 79 respectively.
With a total after 36 holes of 431, Ireland are seven strokes adrift of leaders England, who are ahead of Spain, Scotland and world champions France.
In the individual rankings, McElroy, with a 140 total, is joint sixth -- only three behind halfway pacemaker Ross Kellett of Scotland.
Cutler is in joint 15th spot on 144, while the other two Irish players are struggling well down the field.