THERE is a three-way lead at the top of the Brabazon Trophy leaderboard at Seaton Carew going in to Thursday’s second round.

China Fleet Golf Club’s Tom Fox and Bury’s Ciaran Doherty made the most of the favourable conditions by the North Sea to claim a one-shot advantage by posting five-under 68s. Then Norwegian Sebastian Mork Andersen joined them in the later stages on the opening day.

Seb Crookall-Nixon (Workington), Jack Cardy (Ipswich), Tomasz Anderson (Brocket Hall) and Rushmore’s Ben Stow are all poised just behind, while there is a healthy contingent sitting a shot further back which includes England international Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park) and France’s Edgar Catherine.

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From a North-East perspective there is work to do to make the cut. Whickham’s James Simpson is best placed along with Prudhoe’s Thomas Rowland after posting level par 73s.

Bedale’s Dan Brown and Boldon’s Gavin Nesbit have a little more work to do on one over. City of Newcastle’s Alex Dixon sits 111th on four over.

Former Durham match-play champion Nesbit, who received a late invite to play on Monday, said: “It’s probably the best conditions I have played around here. They are probably the best you will get at Seaton. I enjoyed this a lot more than when I played in the Seaton Salver a couple of weeks ago.

“You just have to try to keep it straight. The ambition at the start of the day is to just make the cut. I was one-under playing 17 and then I doubled that. I was sick. I knocked it in the right hand bunker. It’s just annoying because I was going well, even if I struggled with my putting to sink some 12 footers.

“It’s just good to be a part of it. It has been here before. Durham is never really on the radar for events like this so it’s special and it feels that bit more special to live just 30 minutes away. Hopefully I can keep going.”

Brabazon Trophy leaderboard

-5 Tom Fox (China Fleet), Ciaran Doherty (Bury), Sebastian Mork Andersen (Norway)

-4 Seb Crookall-Nixon (Workington), Jack Cardy (Ipswich), Tomasz Anderson (Brocket Hall) , Ben Stow (Rushmore)

-3 Edgar Catherine (France), Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park), Daniel Young (Craigie Hill), Adam Dunton (McDonald), Jonathan Grey (Hever Castle), Jack Hume (Naas), Cormac Sharvin (Ireland).

Selected others:

Level - Thomas Rowland (Prudhoe), James Simpson (Whickham)

+ 1 - Daniel Brown (Bedale), Gavin Nesbit (Boldon)

+4 - Alex Dixon (City of Newcastle)