A flawless five under par round of 67 moved Gareth Maybin to within four shots of the lead after two days of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
The 32-year-old from Ballyclare didn’t drop a shot on Friday as he carded five birdies which left him four adrift of leader Richard Sterne.
South African Sterne’s steely second round of two under par maintained his one shot advantage at the halfway stage of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
The 31 year old’s second round of two under par 70 kept him one shot clear of Englishman Tommy Fleetwood (68), Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher (70) and Denmark’s Throbjørn Olesen (66). Ireland’s Peter Lawrie is also on eight under par with Damien McGrane back on four under.
Michael Hoey and Shane Lowry both missed the cut
Meanwhile, Gareth Shaw is in with a shout for a maiden European Challenge Tour title as he enters the weekend at the Gujarat Kensville Challenge in tied 25th place after a second successive level par round of 72.
The Lurgan man is eight shots off the lead held by Scotland’s Andrew McArthur but is hopeful that if he can make a big move on day three, he could be close come Sunday afternoon.
It was another steady day for Shaw despite starting with a bogey at the tenth hole, his first, as a birdie at the 14th took him to the turn in level par before one shot gained and one shot dropped on the way back meant he made the cut with three shots to spare.
The 27 year old expressed relief at making it past the halfway stage as he got his return to the Challenge Tour got off to a strong start.
“It is a bit of a relief,” he said.
“I felt a bit nervous when I was one over with five left and had a couple of par saves and they were nice because you start to feel good about yourself.
“It’s completely different to what I’m used to but course management is key here and that has always been one of my strengths.
“Hopefully tomorrow I can free it up a little bit because I’ve felt tense out there. Then you never know what can happen.”