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Dublin: 8°C Saturday 15 May 2021

Tipperary hurling legend has stepped down from football post in his native county

John Leahy’s often stormy two-year spell in charge of the Tipperary intermediate ladies team has come to an end.

John Leahy has stepped down as Tipperary ladies intermediate football team manager.
John Leahy has stepped down as Tipperary ladies intermediate football team manager.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

JOHN LEAHY HAS stepped down as Tipperary ladies intermediate football team manager after two unsuccessful years in charge.

The former Premier County hurling star was unveiled in a blaze of publicity but created a storm when he axed five players from his squad last year.

Tipp contested the 2013 All-Ireland intermediate final two years ago but have come nowhere near those heights since, bowing out of the Munster and All-Ireland campaigns in tame fashion this summer.

Tipp lost by just three points against Waterford in the provincial final two years ago but this year, they were hammered by 29 points against the same opposition.

And Tipp bowed out of the All-Ireland series after extra-time against Roscommon, a defeat that marked the end of Leahy’s underwhelming two-year term.

Last year, it emerged that Leahy had removed star players Mairead Morrissey (an Allstar nominee from the previous season), Jennifer Grant (vice-captain at the time), Kelly Hackett, Samantha Lambert and Patricia Hickey from his squad.

Ailish Cornyn and Jennifer Grant John Leahy axed Jennifer Grant (8) from his Tipperary squad last year. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

All five played against Cavan in the All-Ireland final in 2013 but were remarkably deemed surplus to requirements.

Grant in particular has continued to demonstrate fine form and this year, she was a member of the University of Limerick team that retained the O’Connor Cup.

The door may now be open under new management for a number of those players to return and the future appears bright for Tipperary following recent underage success.

Tipp have won the last two All-Ireland minor B crowns and those winning teams look set to supply a number of promising players to the intermediate set-up.

A Tipperary ladies football board statement confirmed: “Following the completion of their two-year term, John Leahy and his management team of Martin Halpin and Pat Morrissey have confirmed their intention to step down as management of the Tipperary Ladies Football Intermediate team due to work commitments.

Ailish Cornyn and Mairead Morrissey Mairead Morrissey (11) was also deemed surplus to requirements. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“The Tipperary Ladies Football Board would like to thank John and his management team for their time and commitment during the last two years.”

Tipp’s stock has plummeted dramatically in the intermediate grade over the past two years and the hope now is that Leahy’s successor can serve as a unifying force.

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