Five of Ireland's seven Q-School hopefuls made the 54-hole cut in the First Stage Section A qualifier at The Roxburghe. But with Mark Murphy just inside the Top 17 and ties to progress to the Second Stage and Damian Mooney one adrift, it promises to be a hear-stopping final round at the Scottish venue.
Scottish amateur Scott Borrowman shot a seven under 65 and compatriot Neil Fenwick a 70 to give them a three-shot lead on 12 under par with Murphy tied for 14th after a 73, just inside the Top 17 and ties on four under par.
Mooney had six birdies in a 68 to move up to tied 21st on three under but the rest of the Irish have work to do to make it to the .
Ballymena amateur Dermot McElroy shot a 70 to move up to within four shots of the qualifying mark on level par with Alan Dunbar on one over after a fine 68.
Portstewart's Paul Cutler posted a 74 that saw him scrape through the 54-hole cut on the three over par mark.
But there was no luck for Headfort's Brian Casey, who missed the cut by a shot after a 76, or Killarney's Danny Sugrue, who missed the cut by four shots after a 72.
At Ebreichsdorf in Austria, Omagh's Nial Kearns was last in the 83-strong field after rounds of 80, 79 and 91.