Gareth Maybin seven behind at European Masters in Switzerland

Gareth Maybin

Gareth Maybin is the leading Northern Irish player at the halfway stage of the European Masters as his three-under total left him seven off the pace.

Maybin fired a four-birdie 69 on Friday which left him in a share of 30th.

Michael Hoey dropped back to two under after a two-over 73 as a double bogey on 16 was followed by a further bogey at the last.

Darren Clarke suffered another missed cut after a 74 left him on one over which proved two shots too many.

The 2011 Open champion never really recovered from a double bogey at his opening hole after starting at the 10th.

Clarke's round included five more bogeys and his four birdies didn't prove enough for him to survive into the weekend.

Padraig Harrington is three behind leaders Stephen Gallacher and Thomas Bjorn after hitting a 65 on Friday.

Harrington's round included an impressive eight birdies as he showed improved form after his recent struggles on the PGA Tour.

The three-time major winner has dropped to 91st in the world rankings after another disappointing season.

Hoey, who was four off the pace after his opening 67, had an erratic front nine which included a double bogey and an eagle as well as two birdies and two bogeys.

His eagle three at the ninth had helped undo the damage of two dropped shots on the sixth and he was back on the fringes of the leaderboard after a birdie at the 15th.

However, the Belfast man then double bogeyed the 16th and his round ending in disappointing fashion with another concession of a shot at the last.

Simon Thornton missed the cut by one shot after a second successive 71 while Damien McGrane and Peter Lawrie also exited on two over and five over after respective rounds of 71 and 75.

Bjorn and Gallacher lead on 10 under with Miguel Angel Jimenez, Danny Willett, Richard Finch, Tommy Fleetwood and Victor Dubuisson a stroke behind.