Ross Fisher had mixed feelings after seeing his lead trimmed to a solitary stroke as his third round at the 3 Irish Open tailed off following a flying start.
The Englishman held a three-shot overnight lead over Francesco Molinari after a stunning second round of 61, and continued his momentum after birdying four of the first seven holes on Saturday.
But a double-bogey at the eighth brought him back to the field and he dropped further shots at the 15th and 17th to card a level-par 71, allowing Chris Wood and Molinari to close to within one of his 12-under-par total.
Wood's 66 was matched only by Richard Bland as the best round of the day, while Molinari recorded three birdies in a solid two-under-par 69 to maintain his challenge.
Wood, buoyed by a six-under 65 on Friday, bounced back from bogeying the fourth with a run of five birdies from the fifth to the ninth and another on the 13th brought him to the brink of the summit.
Italian Molinari, meanwhile, turned in a one-under-par 34 after birdying the par-five seventh for the third day in succession and, after giving that shot back on the first hole of the back nine, he birdied the 11th and 14th to keep himself on terms with the Bristolian in second place.
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano is a further shot back after an eventful round which had looked set to earn him a share of the lead.
The Spaniard turned in 31 after five birdies and a solitary dropped shot at the third, and he was 12 under after a three at the 477-yard 12th hole, but a double-bogey six at the last marked a frustrating finish to a fine 18 holes and left him to play in the penultimate group on Sunday.
He will follow Australia's Richard Green and Irishman Padraig Harrington on to the course after they both finished at nine under after rounds of 69.
The left-handed Green undid some of the good work of his four birdies with a double-bogey six at the 13th, while Harrington dropped a shot at the fourth and two more at the eighth but also racked up five birdies.