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In-form Joshua Hill has a share of lead at halfway in Mullingar Scratch Trophy

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Contender: Joshua Hill has share of the lead at Mullingar Scratch Trophy

Contender: Joshua Hill has share of the lead at Mullingar Scratch Trophy

Philip Magowan

Contender: Joshua Hill has share of the lead at Mullingar Scratch Trophy

Galgorm teen Joshua Hill will take a share of the lead into the second day of the Mullingar Scratch Trophy as he continues a rich vein of recent form in Bridgestone Tour events.

The Ballymena man, who was the leading stroke play qualifier at the South of Ireland last week, carded rounds of six-under 66 and two-under 70 on day one at the Westmeath course to sit atop the standings at eight-under beside Westport’s Harry Gillivan.

It had looked like Hill, who also shot the course record at Galgorm two weeks ago, was going to hold the lead on his own, but Gillivan posted two rounds of 68 in one of the final groups to tie him late in the day.

The pair will take a three-shot lead into today’s third and fourth rounds — which will be played back-to-back — with Tandragee’s William Small among a group of four players who are their nearest challengers after rounds of 71 and 68.

Ballybofey & Stranorlar’s Ryan Griffin, fresh from representing Ireland at the World University Championships, is tied for ninth at three-under-par following rounds of 69 and 72, with Tandragee’s James Hewitt a shot further back having backed up a 73 with a second round 69.

Ross Latimer was the only other Ulster player to make the cut, which fell at four-over-par, with rounds of 69 and 74 leaving him one-under going into today’s 36-hole shoot-out for the title.

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