Three-under par rounds of 68 over the challenging Chantilly course by Walker Cup star Jack Hume and Stuart Grehan helped Ireland cruise into the quarter-finals of the European Amateur Team Championship.
They improved by 10 strokes on Tuesday and moved up four places — from the brink of elimination to comfortable qualification — and will face Italy today for a spot in the last four.
Defending champions Scotland also made it into the quarter-finals. They meet Spain today, but England flopped, managing only 10th spot in the qualifying phase.
Grehan, from Tullamore, was in splendid form. His highlight came when he recorded an eagle three on the ninth, while he picked up two birdies in a homeward half of 33.
He finished joint third in the individual rankings.
Hume, from Naas, also carded an eagle three on the ninth, but his back nine produced a mixed set of figures, four bogeys, two birdies and three pars.
Conor O’Rourke was steady, producing a level par 71 to add to his 72 of Tuesday, a double bogey and two bogeys on the inward half dashing hopes of an even better round.
The other Irish players were disappointing: Colm Campbell took 73, while Alex Gleeson returned 75.
Discounted was the card of Amateur Championship semi-finalist Paul McBride, who could ended on a five over par 76.
McBride who played so well in the Amateur at Royal Porthcawl had a triple bogey eight on the eighth and a double bogey six on the 15th.
France led the qualifiers into the last eight with a 36-hole aggregate of 713, beating Scotland on a card play-off, but Ireland remain in with a chance of their first title since 2008.
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