(CNN) -- Great Britain and Ireland stretched their lead over Continental Europe to seven points heading into the final day of the Vivendi Trophy in France.
McIlory enjoyed a fine day as GB and Ireland stepped up their defense of the Vivendi Trophy
Paul McGinley's men require just two points in the closing singles to retain the trophy at the biennial team competition.
His side picked up 3.5 of four available points in the afternoon alternate shot foursomes, having earlier won three of the morning's four greensomes to leave them 12.5 points to 5.5 points ahead with 10 singles matches remaining on Sunday.
In greensomes, both players in each team drive off before selecting the best drive and then playing alternate shots as in a foursomes.
Northern Irish pair Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell gave some likely pointers to watching European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie with wins in both the morning and afternoon sessions, going out first for GB and Ireland.
Going into the afternoon session, they beat the tough Danish pair of Soren Hansen and Soren Kjeldsen 2 and 1, the victory sealed by a superb approach shot by McIlroy on the 17th and a five-foot par putt from McDowell.
"We enjoy the energy, the intensity of playing up front, leading the team off," McDowell told reporters.
"I think we're both energetic players, we like to feel a buzz in our game and put a spring in our step and we certainly had that leading the team off."
Chris Wood also pressed his Ryder Cup credentials with his fourth win at Saint -Nom-la-Breteche Golf Club near Paris.
Wood and fellow Englishman Ross Fisher beat Denmark's Anders Hansen and Italy's Francesco Molinari in both the greensomes and foursomes play.
English pair Oliver Wilson and Robert Rock have also been dominant and saw off Spaniards Miguel Angel Jimenez and Alvaro Quiros by one up in the afternoon foursomes to leave their team with a big lead.
In the morning greensomes, Rock and Dougherty thrashed Robert Karlsson and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano 5 and 4, before McIlroy and McDowell fought back from two holes down to beat Swedes Henrik Stenson and Peter Hanson 2 and 1.
Wood and Fisher beat Hansen and Molinari one-up, but Wilson and Simon Dyson - who pulled out of the foursomes due to food poisoning - lost to Jimenez and Quiros on the final hole in a rare victory for the Europeans.
It is the sixth staging of the competition, which was originally the Seve Trophy in honor of Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros, but has been renamed to credit the current sponsors.