Michael Hoey and Paul Dunne remain in contention at the half-way stage of the ISPS Handa Vic Open in Australia.

Hoey followed up his excellent six-under-par 66 on Thursday with a four-under 68 to sit four shots off the lead at the Geelong event in Victoria.

The Antrim man hit six birdies and an eagle during his second round and could have been challenging for the lead only for four bogeys - two on the opening two holes and another two to finish.

Hoey starts the final round in a tie for ninth place on ten under par, as Australian duo Jason Scrivener and Nick Flanagan share the halfway lead, as home players dominated the leaderboard.

Paul Dunne played his way into contention on Friday with a near-flawless 66, which included five birdies and one eagle with just the one dropped shot on the 18th hole.

The Greystones native goes into the third round on nine under par, just one shot off Hoey, and in a tie for 16th place.

Gavin Moynihan could not build on his fine first round and just made the five-under-par cut following his level par 72 on Friday. Irish amateur Conor Purcell bowed out on four over par following a second round 76.

Co-leader Scrivener carded a 66 on the Beach Course to move to 14 under par alongside first-round leader Flanagan, who added a 68 on the same course to his opening 62.

Compatriot Wade Ormsby is a shot off the lead with fellow Australians Matt Jager and Brad Kennedy another stroke back. Scotland's David Law, who has yet to drop a shot, is three shots off the lead alongside Clement Sordet and Nick Cullen.

A day after equalling the world record with nine straight birdies, Australia's James Nitties could only manage one birdie, 16 pars and a double bogey on the 18th to fall eight shots off the lead following a 74.

Scrivener, who like Law is bogey-free for the first 36 holes, said: "Any time your game's in a good place and you're constantly making cuts and putting yourself in contention, it's good for confidence.

"I just feel like over the last six months I've made some big improvements in my game and steadily progressing the last couple of years.

"I feel like it's in a good position and I just want to give myself more chances to win tournaments. I definitely feel like I've been knocking on the door and I think the more chances I give myself, the better."

Flanagan looked like enjoying the outright lead for a second day running after posting five birdies in the first 15 holes before a bogey on the 16th, but was still happy with his day's work.

"I'm probably happier with today's round considering it was backing up that 62," he said. "To be up there at the top of the leaderboard's obviously great and we'll go out on the weekend and just kind of keep doing what I'm doing."

The tournament is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and LPGA and features men and women playing on the same courses at the same time, for equal prize money.

In the women's event, American Kim Kaufman carded a second consecutive 66 to reach 13 under and lead by two shots from Japan's Haru Nomura, with Australian Su Oh a further shot back.

England's Charlotte Thomas is four shots off the pace after a second successive 68, but compatriot Felicity Johnson, who held a two-shot lead overnight, could only manage a 74 to finish six under.