Gareth Maybin five off Spanish pace as Michael Hoey misses cut

Gareth Maybin remained five off the pace at the Spanish Open after hitting a second-round 70 in Girona.

Maybin's one-under total left him five behind Belgian leader Thomas Pieters who shot a second successive 69.

But while Ballyclare player Maybin, 33, is sharing 10th place, Michael Hoey missed his first cut of 2014 after firing a disappointing 78 on Friday.

That left the Galgorm Castle touring professional on eight over which was going to be four shots too many.

Maybin is the leading Irishman with Paul McGinley [72] on two over and David Higgins [74] and Kevin Phelan [71] both three over.

County-Down based Simon Thornton survived into the weekend at the PGA Catalunya Resort on the cut mark of four over after carding a disappointing 76 on Friday.

Thornton had started the day on level par but Meath man Damien McGrane exited after an 80 left him on 11 over.

Maybin, 33, could do with a decent finish in Girona as he is currently 198th in the Race to Dubai standings with only the top 115 set to retain their cards at the end of the season.

The Ballyclare man did end a run of five missed cuts when he shared 54th place in his most recent outing in Singapore earlier this month.

Hoey, 35, is currently 34th in the order of merit standings and is already assured of retaining his card for next season.

Belgian Pieters leads England's Eddie Pepperell and Dutchman Joost Luiten by one shot.

Francesco Molinari and Richie Ramsay are on four under with Miguel Angel Jimenez and Sergio Garcia on two under and one under after respective rounds of 73 and 74.