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Galway and Ulster teams free to enter Leinster Under-21 hurling championship


Kilkenny celebrate this year's Under-21 Leinster title

Kilkenny celebrate this year's Under-21 Leinster title

Kilkenny celebrate this year's Under-21 Leinster title

Galway and Ulster teams will have access to the Leinster U-21 Championship from 2018 onwards, Special Congress has decided.

But Cork were successful in proposing an amendment that semi-finals will be retained with the losers of one provincial final playing the winners of the other.

The Galway minors will enter a three-team round robin group with the beaten Leinster and Munster finalists to determine which two teams will join the provincial champions in All-Ireland semi-finals.

A raft of motions to help with the planning of club fixtures were also considered.

Inter-county tournaments will, from now on, only be organised up to U-16 level with an exception made for an U-19 hurling tournament at Cork's prompting.

However, Longford's amendment to include an U-20 competition and protect the Hastings Cup was defeated.

Dermot Earley, on behalf of the GPA, highlighted the problem of travel and time pressures in opposing a motion that would restrict inter-county challenge games, after the leagues have been concluded, to a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

However, 84 per cent of delegates decided to restrict the playing of challenge games to that three-day window. In some cases, official pitch openings will be permitted.

Earley was also opposed to a motion which reduced the time in which inter-county players will not be expected to play club games to 17 days before an All-Ireland final and 10 days before any other championship game, down from 20 and 13 days respectively but the motion carried by 91 per cent.

Approval was given for a free-taking competition to decide all qualifier, knock-out league and provincial club games, once two periods (the original 20 minutes and an additional 10 minutes) of extra time had been played and the teams were still level.

A second period of extra-time, (10 minutes) will also be added for provincial finals.

The motions were drafted to limit the number of replays on the calendar. 

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