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Crisis as Leahy vote goes West'

WESTMEATH GAA chiefs are launching yet another search for a new manager after their recommendation to appoint the unheralded Peter Leahy blew up in their faces last night.

The top table has been plunged into crisis after county board delegates voted 24-19 to reject his ratification, even though Leahy had Mayo icon Liam McHale as coach.

A five-man committee had chosen the St Malachy's boss who, in tandem with Alan Mangan, steered the Westmeath ladies to an All-Ireland IFC title in 2011.

It was the second time this autumn that Westmeath chairman Seán Sheridan failed to secure grassroots backing - he had previously proposed that Paul Bealin be retained for a second season, only to be emphatically shot down, 37-12.

"I'd be disappointed," Sheridan admitted. "We felt that was a good management team to bring Westmeath to another level ... unfortunately, the clubs thought otherwise."