Paul McGinley and Shane Lowry are slightly further behind
Graeme McDowell is the highest placed Irishman after his second round at the British Masters.
McDowell has carded back-to-back rounds of 68 to sit on 6-under par at the halfway mark.
That puts him five off leader Richard Bland of England after picking up three shots today.
Leader Bland had a very productive second round with a 7-under 64 to move to 11-under overall.
Alex Noren and Andrew Johnston share second on 10-under, one shot clear of another three-way tie for fourth.
McDowell particularly shone on the front nine with four birdies and two bogeys before picking up a further birdie on the 11th.
Just behind him is Paul McGinley who is second highest placed of the Irish after two rounds of action.
The 2014 Europe Ryder Cup captain is on 5-under after picking up four shots in his second round.
Meanwhile Shane Lowry who started off the day on 3-under like McDowell is a shot further back on 4-under.
Michael Hoey is on 4-over and misses the cut.
However, his second round was at least superior to his first as he achieved par for the day.