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X Factor Eoghan's Portstewart outmatched in cup battle

By Billy Weir

He has played in front of thousands of screaming fans, sung with Boyzone and faced the wrath of Simon Cowell - but Eoghan Quigg admitted his Irish Cup experience with Portstewart on Saturday was every bit as nerve-wracking.

The 24-year-old, who came third in X Factor in 2008, played up front for the Seahawks against cup holders Glenavon at Mourneview Park and with 10 minutes gone a fairytale looked to be on the cards.

Quigg played his part as he recorded a big hit, a clattering challenge by Simon Kelly, that allowed David McClements to send in a free-kick that was headed home by Luke Bradley.

Beaten by Alexandra Burke and JLS in the finale of the hit ITV show, the Dungiven man could have been forgiven for thinking that the footballing big time beckoned.

But Glenavon, who play four divisions above the NI Intermediate League side, were in no mood to make dreams come true.

They went on to score four goals to make it through to the next round.

For Quigg, though, it was an experience he will never forget and he admitted that there had been a few butterflies.

"There was a big crowd and with the reactions of them you don't want to be making a mistake and want to do everything right," he said.

"Sometimes you maybe do things too quickly and lose the ball, but the experience of being up here is great.

"You can take that on board and say that you've played at this level and that you've done alright, and maybe in the future you can go on and play at this level, who knows?

"We started well but we said to ourselves we had nothing to lose coming up here; they're a quality side but we started well and got the breakthrough.

"We showed we weren't here for a pushover but they have a lot of quality and it was a good performance from us and we can hold our heads up high and move on."

For Glenavon the next move is a trip to Armagh in the next round, but for Quigg it was back to the stage last night in Derry with other gigs to follow over the coming days.

One man he'll be glad not to face on stage is Kris Lindsay, the Glenavon defender who was every bit as tough to tackle as Simon Cowell.

"He's a tough boy, I'll tell you that, he's hard to beat in the air," he said.

"At one point I tried to get round him and he just held his hand out and kept me at a standstill.

"I felt if I could get behind him I could beat him for pace, but he's very good in the air and we were launching the ball forward and that was to his advantage.

"I had a couple of snapshots but at the end of the day we didn't think we'd get any so to get two or three I'm happy enough.

"Thank God I have the night off and then Derry on Sunday and I'm away all week."

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