WILTSHIRE'S Ben Stow remains in contention for the Brabazon Trophy despite a tough third day at Seaton Carew in County Durham yesterday.

Stow and Ryan Evans were locked together at the top of the English Strokeplay Championship leaderboard at the start of the day but both returned 75 which allowed Ireland’s Cormac Sharvin to slip in on the blind side with 70 for a three-way tie.

The trio now share the lead on seven-under-par 212, just a stroke ahead of a group of six including three Scots, an Irishman and two home players while four more lie in wait a further shot back on 214.

The early starters enjoyed sunshine and a light breeze but as the day wore on so conditions deteriorated with the wind increasing accompanied by some light rain. “The course seemed to change during the round,” said Stow.

“With the rain the greens seemed to slow a little but they still looked fast. It was a bit confusing.

“My round was not pretty. I struggled off the tee, couldn’t find the fairways but I made a few up-and-downs and just about kept the score going. You could say it was a good, bad round.”

Stow, who had four birdies in his 75 added: “I’m not disappointed and I’m looking forward to a good day tomorrow (Saturday). There is all to play for.”

While the leaders were faltering, Sharvin made his move with seven birdies in his 70, five coming in a back nine of three-under 35.

A third-round 73 left Wiltshire's defending champion Jordan Smith (Bowood) eight shots back on one over par.