Beth Allen of the United States returned to a familiar position – the top of the Ladies European Tour leader board – after she carded a second round of three-under-par 67 on day two of the Lacoste Ladies Open de France.

A second round containing one bogey at hole No.2 and four birdies at the sixth, seventh, 14th and 15th holes at Golf de Chantaco put the 34-year-old American back at the head of affairs on nine-under-par after she narrowly missed out on a second LET title in Spain a fortnight ago.

The 2015 ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters champion leads first-round leader Florentyna Parker and Diana Luna by a stroke and said: “It was a slow start for me and sometimes it’s hard to back up a really good round. I pulled it together in the end and had three-under so I’m happy. The 11th, 12th and 13th is a tough stretch and the back nine can get you so you have to be patient.”

Although Parker blitzed the front nine with five birdies, including three in a row from the first hole to make the turn at 12-under, she double bogeyed the difficult uphill par-4 11th and then added two more bogeys at the 14th and 18th to drop a stroke behind.

“I started really well this morning. I was five under after nine and could have been even lower and then the 11th hole got me,” said Parker. “After that I didn’t really do anything special so it was a same I didn’t hole some putts. I had a chance on 15 and then dropped a shot on the last.”

It was a contrasting round for Luna, who started with a bogey but hit back with six birdies against two more bogeys. She said: “As usual I had a rough start with a bogey but I’m used to it now so it doesn’t touch me. I was back in it with two birdies in a row and then I started to play really good golf.”

The defending champion Céline Herbin also took advantage of the morning’s cool and calm conditions to post a 67 and sits just four strokes from the lead, although it could have been even better had she not three putted from inside three feet on the 15th hole.

She said: “Maybe I’m a little extra motivated because I’m in France and my family is here. I’m happy to be here and for the moment I’m happy with my game. Azahara (Muñoz) won two years in a row, so why not me?”

Later in the day, three-time French Open winner Trish Johnson carded a five-under-par 65 to share fourth place and she said afterwards: “It was good today. I had a good feeling yesterday after I went to the range and found something that worked really well. I hit some cracking shots today so it was a very enjoyable round.”