Rafferty and Purcell just four back in Sotogrande
Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk). Picture by  Pat Cashman

Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk). Picture by Pat Cashman

Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty and Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell are just four shots off the lead at halfway in the European Nations Cup at Real Club de Golf de Sotogrande.

West of Ireland champion Rafferty shot a one-over 73 to share sixth place on five-over par with Purcell, who shot a 75 on another tough day in Spain.

England’s Tom Sloman shot a level par 72 to lead by two strokes on one-over par from the Netherlands’ Kiet Van Der Weele and Spain’s Eduard Rousaud, who also shot level par.

Kilkenny’s Mark Power is tied for 10th on six-over after a 78, struggling to the turn in eight-over before fighting back with two birdies on the back nine.

A 79 by Naas’ Robert Brazill, who is tied 54th on 15-over, was Ireland’s discarded score as England took over from Ireland at the top of the team standings.

They lead by four strokes on 10-over par from the Netherlands with Ireland two shots further back in third on 16-over.