Title holder Lynch suffers early exit as local favourites keep hopes alive
There will be a new name on the North of Ireland trophy this year after defending champion Ian Lynch was knocked out of the tournament at the last-32 stage at Portstewart.
With the stroke play qualifying completed on Tuesday, the tournament moved into its match play stage yesterday, with Lynch the first high-profile upset.
After needing an extra hole to defeat Michael Reid (Galgorm Castle) in the last-64, the Rosslare man came unstuck against Douglas' Peter O'Keeffe, who triumphed 3&1 in the afternoon.
There was also disappointment for Athenry's Allan Hill, who topped the stroke play qualifying but then fell to a 19th hole defeat to David McAleenon (Edenmore) in the last-32.
Local favourite Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) made it into the last-16 with victories over Christopher Moulds (Lisburn) and Dan Sheehan (England), while Order of Merit rival Robert Brazill joined him with wins over Tom Dowdall (Woodbrook) and Liam Power (Galway).
The last-16 and last-eight ties will both be played at Portstewart today.
On the PGA Europro Tour, John-Ross Galbraith (Whitehead) and Jonathan Caldwell (Clandeboye) are one shot off first round leader Marco Penge (England) at the Cobra Puma-NXT LVL Championship in Cheshire.
Meanwhile, at the European Team Championships, Ireland's men's, boys' and ladies' teams all made it through to the match play stages.
At the Women's Interprovincials, there were successes for Ulster's ladies' and girls' teams, who both defeated Connacht.