The Galway League won the FAI Women’s Umbro Senior Cup on Sunday afternoon at Dalymount Park with a narrow victory over Raheny United.
Republic of Ireland senior International Niamh Fahey crowned a splendid individual display by netting the solitary goal from the penalty spot with 15 minutes remaining.
The vital breakthrough arrived when Referee Hilda McDermott adjudged that Galway striker Kara Mullins was tripped by Megan Nugent as she raided into the penalty area.
Fahey stepped up to calmly slot the ball into the bottom right corner past Raheny goalkeeper Niamh Reid-Burke, who guessed the right way but couldn’t get her hand to the strike.
Galway became the second league representative team to win the competition after Mayo reigned supreme in last season’s event.
Galway will now have the honour of representing Ireland in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
Raheny will be disappointed that they didn’t create the amount of chances they’re capable of and their misery was compounded when striker Noelle Murray was sent off in the last minute following a clash with Galway’s Maeve De Burca.
The goals of Olivia O’Toole and Noelle Murray helped Raheny reach their first-ever final but their efforts today were curbed by the solid defensive showing by Fahey and Annette Clarke.
O’Toole had a shot saved in the first minute and second later, Julie-Anne Russell broke free of her marker at the other end but fired wide of the left post from the edge of the box.
Rachel Graham had opportunities either side of half-time to give Raheny the lead.
Her first shot on 28 minutes was blocked by Galway League keeper Melissa Casserly who recovered well after allowing the ball slip from her grasp.
The winger was also on the end of a searching cross from Kerri Ryan after 63 minutes but lofted her header over the crossbar from close range.
Galway grew in confidence as the game progressed and were presented with an opening through the penalty after 75 minutes.
Raheny came back at them in the final ten minutes but apart from a few half chances which fell to O’Toole, Casserly was relatively untroubled in the Galway goal.
Julie-Anne Russell could have put the result beyond doubt with a second goal in stoppage time, when she sprinted down the right flank towards goal, but blazed her shot over the bar.
Galway League: Melissa Casserly (Galway Bohs), Theresa Fahy (Galway Bohs), Emer Flatley (Salthill Devon), Annette Clarke (Galway Bohs), Niamh Fahy (Salthill Devon), Grainne Barrett (Galway Bohs), Michelle Glynn (Mervue Utd), Maeve De Burca (Salthill Devon), Susie Cunningham (Ashe Rovers), Kara Mullins (Galway Bohs), Julienne Russell (Salthill Devon).
Substitutions: Heather Duffy (Galway Bohs) for Barrett (68 mins), Aoife Burke (Galway Bohs) for Cunningham (84 mins).
Raheny United: Niamh Reid-Burke, Wendy Stienen, Christina Byrne, Megan Nugent, Sharon Boyle, Lyndsey Hennelly, Rachael Graham, Kerri Ryan, Olivia O’Toole, Noelle Murray, Rebecca Creagh.
Substitutes: Amy Curly for Ryan (63 mins).
Referee: Hilda McDermott.