NIAMH FAHEY WAS a rock in the Arsenal Ladies’ defence at the weekend as they clinched their 13th FA Cup at Stadium MK.
Fahey played a prominent role in shutting down the Everton attack while also surging forward whenever possible for the Gunners. Arsenal extended their own cup-winning record by winning 2-0 after a delightful free from Kelly Smith and a Yukari Kinga goal after the hour mark.
Fahey played championships football with Galway until the age of 20, when she moved to London to play with Arsenal. She had previously played soccer with Salthill-Devon. Her brothers is Gary Fahey, who captained Galway to All-Ireland football success in 2001. Another brother, Ritchie, has also represented the Tribesmen.
Behind Fahey, in the Arsenal goal, was Irish international teammate Emma Byrne. The former St Patrick’s Athletic goalkeeper was chosen ahead of Siobhan Chamberlain for the final and justified the call by making a couple of vital saves. The win delivered Byrne her ninth FA Cup medal. She has also won the league nine times.
Arsenal boss Shelley Kerr said, “I’ve seen it coming all year since the new players came in. They’ve trained like that every single day I’ve worked with them and I think in most of the games this season we saw evidence of it.
“It’s just unfortunate that up until today we haven’t been consistent with out form in terms of playing for the 90 minutes. But we dominated today, I thought we had some brilliant individual performances but certainly a fantastic team performance as well. They thoroughly deserved to win today and I’m really, really proud of them.”