Leinster Under-21 Hurling Championship
|Leinster GAA Hurling Under-21 Championship|
|Current season or competition:|
2017 Leinster Under-21 Hurling Championship
|Irish||Craobh Iomána Fé-21 Laighin|
|No. of teams||8|
|Title holders||Kilkenny (25th title)|
|Most titles||Kilkenny (25 titles)|
|Sponsors||Bord Gáis Energy|
The Leinster GAA Hurling All-Ireland Under-21 Championship is an annual championship of hurling for male players under the age of 21 and is organized by the Leinster Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The championship has been awarded every year since the first tournament in 1964. It is sponsored by Bord Gáis Energy.
The series of games are played during the summer months with the Leinster final currently being played in July. The prize for the winning team is the Seán Robbins Cup. The championship has always been played on a straight knock-out basis whereby once a team lost they are eliminated from the series.
The Leinster Championship is an integral part of the wider All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Championship. The winners of the Leinster final join Galway, the Munster champions and the Ulster champions in the semi-final stages of the All-Ireland series of games.
Eight teams currently participate in the Munster Championship. Kilkenny is the most successful team with 24 titles, followed by Wexford with 17 titles. The title has been won by five different teams, four of whom have won the title more than once.
The Leinster Under-21 Hurling Championship began in 1964 in response to a Congress motion put forward by the Kerry County Board for the introduction of a new championship grade. It was the fifth championship to be created after the senior, junior, minor and intermediate grades.
In 2008 a radical motion was brought before a special Congress in an effort to combat player burnout. It was proposed to merge the existing under-21 and minor championships to create a new All-Ireland Under-19 Hurling Championship based on the provincial system. This motion was defeated by 115 votes to 58.
A similar motion was later introduced in an effort to lower the age and create a new All-Ireland Under-20 Championship based on the provincial system, however, this motion was also defeated.
Each match is played as a single leg. If a match is drawn there is extra time and, if the sides still remain level, a replay is required.
The format has remained the same since the very first Leinster Championship in 1964. An open draw is made to determine the quarter-final pairings. The four winners advance to the semi-final stage. Once a team is defeated they are eliminated from the championship.
The Leinster Championship has wider implications for the All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Championship. The winners of the Munster final automatically qualify for the semi-final stages of the All-Ireland series of games. Unlike the final runners-up in the minor and senior championships, there is no 'back-door system' at under-21 level.
At the end of the Leinster final, the winning team is presented with a trophy. The cup, named the Seán Robbins Cup, is held by the winning team until the following year's final. Traditionally, the presentation is made at a special rostrum in the stand where GAA and political dignitaries and special guests view the match.
The cup is decorated with ribbons in the colours of the winning team. During the game the cup actually has both teams' sets of ribbons attached and the runners-up ribbons are removed before the presentation. The winning captain accepts the cup on behalf of his team before giving a short speech. Individual members of the winning team then have an opportunity to come to the rostrum to lift the cup.
Since 2003 the Leinster Championship has been sponsored. The sponsor has usually been able to determine the championship's sponsorship name. The list below details who the sponsors have been and what they called the competition:
- 2003–2007: Erin Foods (Erin Leinster Under-21 Hurling Championship)
- 2008–present: Bord Gáis Energy (Bord Gáis Energy Leinster GAA Hurling Under-21 Championship)
Performances by counties
|No.||Team||Wins||Years won||Losses||Years lost|
|1||Kilkenny||25||1968, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2017||10||1969, 1970, 1971, 1979, 1989, 1991, 1992, 2000, 2013, 2015|
|2||Wexford||17||1964, 1965, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1979, 1986, 1987, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2013, 2014, 2015||16||1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2004, 2010, 2011, 2017, 2018|
|3||Dublin||6||1967, 1972, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2016||10||1965, 1968, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2014|
|4||Offaly||5||1978, 1989, 1991, 1992, 2000||13||1967, 1972, 1973, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2007, 2008, 2016|
|5||Laois||1||1983||5||1964, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2012|
- "Bord Gais to sponsor U-21 hurling championship". Irish Examiner. 28 July 2008. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
- "Wexford claim Leinster U21 three-in-a-row with stunning win over Kilkenny". Irish Times. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
- O'Riordan, Ian (23 January 2008). "Merge needs simple majority". Irish Times. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- "GAA delegates reject U-19 proposal". RTÉ Sport. 26 January 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- O'Riordan, Ian (11 September 2008). "Under-20 championship proposed". Irish Times. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- "Leinster U21HC final: Treacy goals see Dubs past Faithfuls". Hogan Stand. 6 July 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
- "Eddie Brennan leads Kilkenny to first Leinster U21 crown since 2012 as Cats rout Wexford". Hogan Stand. 5 July 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2017.