DORSET’S Ben Stow has gone one better than his impressive first round total at Seaton Carew to take pole position in the hunt for the Brabazon Trophy.

Stow, 22, was rewarded for taking risks in conditions to suit the world’s top amateurs with a five-under 68 to take a four shot clubhouse lead – on a day when Bedale’s Dan Brown was disqualified.

The England international, who studies in Kentucky, had started well enough on Wednesday but went one better than his opening 69 to sit nicely one nine-under going in to the final stages.

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Southerness’ Scott Gibson, Tullamore’s Stuart Grehan and Island’s Gavin Moynihan are all prominently placed four shots further back. Gibson and Grehan posted 69s today, while Moynihan recorded a three-under 70.

Two of the overnight leaders, Tom Fox and Sebastian Mork Andersen, have dropped out of contention at this stage. Cornwall’s Fox went round in 74 today, while Norway’s Andersen carded a four-over to drop back to one-under.

The other first round leader, Ciaran Doherty, is on the front nine knowing what he has to do to close the gap to Stow ahead of the last two rounds. There was frustration for Bedale’s Brown. After leaving the scoring hut believing he had signed for a one-over 73, he was disqualified for wrongly marking his card. He was penalised for stating a three on the 355-yard seventh when he really took a four.

City of Newcastle’s Alex Dixon withdrew, while Whickham’s James Simpson and Prudhoe’s Thomas Rowland are out on the course.