Sharpshooter O' Reilly to take it all in her stride

O’Reilly takes it all in her stride By Liam
î Maoldhomhnaigh

on above image to go to web site

team that reaches an All-Ireland final, with intentions
of taking silverware, cannot afford to rely on
the input of just one player. But every All-Ireland
finalist can point to one player who has made
the greatest difference en route to the decider.

player that has made an incredible difference
for the Sligo Ladies Gaelic footballers –
now just one game away from an All-Ireland
Junior title – is Geevagh’s Stephanie O’Reilly. 

The 17-year-old, a Secondary School student
at Coola Post Primary School, is the team’s
leading scorer, having supplied an awesome
7-19 (40 points) in four games. Her biggest
tally came in the All-Ireland semi-final against
Cork. Sligo notched 7-7; O’Reilly scored 4-4.
But O’Reilly, who has won two All-Ireland
medals in the Coola colours, doesn’t imagine
that she will be expected to do anything spectacular
in Croke Park next Sunday. “I don’t put pressure
on myself before games. I try to play my normal
game and things have gone well for me so far
this year. If everyone does their bit then
the team have a good chance,” she said.

O’ Reilly with family and friends after
receiving the 2003 Connacht Young Player
of the year

reflecting on the demolition of Cork, the game
that saw her score eight times, including four
goals, O’Reilly stated: “We were always on top
in that game. It worked out well for me – but
the supply was good the whole time.” But O’Reilly,
whose scores helped Geevagh win the Sligo Junior
Championship, still rates this year’s Post Primary
Schools All-Ireland Senior ‘C’ Championship final
as the year’s highlight. Coola Post Primary School,
Junior ‘C’ winners in 2003, defeated St Brigid’s
Presentation Secondary School, Killarney. O’Reilly,
Coola’s captain, splendidly notched 3-7 from her
side’s total of 3-13.

O’Reilly, holder of two All-Ireland medals and
the recipient of numerous ‘Player of the Match’
awards, is delighted what 2004 has brought at
inter-county level – under Kathleen Kane’s tutelage.
“We have improved since the beginning of the year.
I suppose after a few months there was a sense
that things could go well for us. Having a number
of team-mates from Coola in the [Sligo] squad
does help, but everyone gets on well together.”
“In all our games so far we haven’t been in trouble
but I think we didn’t realise just how good we
can be – if we work hard.” “There has been a huge
commitment this year – everyone wants to be in
the starting 15,” she added


O’Reilly is also impressed by the application
of manager Kathleen Kane, who is in her
first year of inter-county management. “It
is great because Kathleen has played at
county level and she knows what it feels
like to be a player. It has been a massive
step for her to guide a team, but we all
respect her and what she has done for us
so far.”

Sligo’s Top Scorers Sligo’s scorers are
as follows: Stephanie O’Reilly (7-19), Louise
Brett (3-13), Therese Marren (4-1), Noelle
Gormley (3-1), Imelda McNulty (1-5), Niamh
Mannion (1-3), Angela Doohan (1-2), Louise
Harte (0-3), Bernice Byrne (1-0), Karen
Maloney (0-2), Aisling McTiernan (0-1)

article was kindly given to us by The Sligo
Weekender Newspaper

O’ Reilly as captain of Coola receiving
The Schools Cup from ladies President Geraldine



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