Leinster Hurling Championship - County-by-County Guide Mon 11 May 2015 GALWAY Manager: Anthony Cunningham (4th season). Titles: Connacht 21 (1999, discontinued), Leinster 1 (2012), All-Ireland 4 (1988). 2015 championship: Won their Leinster quarter-final with Dublin in a replay in Tullamore, running out 5-19 to 1-18 winners. Beat Laois in semi-final 3-28 to 1-14. Lost final to Kilkenny 2-15 to 1-25. Last eight win over Cork (2-28 to 0-22) and semi-final 0-26 to 3-16 victory against Tipperary. Lost the final 1-18 to 1-22 v Kilkenny. How it unfolded Before the Dublin replay the only team they had beaten since nearly winning the All-Ireland in 2012 was Laois. That all changed in spectacular fashion as they blitzed Dublin in the quarter-final replay in Tullamore, where the full-forward line scored 5-15. Cheddar Plunkett’s Laois side were dismissed with similar aplomb. Galway are always dangerous when their tails are up, and showed they aren't too far off Kilkenny in the Leinster final. Echoed that again against Cork and that steady rate of improvement continued as they mustered one of their most complete and consistent performances in many a year against Tipperary. That improvement still wasn't enough though come September as the Cat's came from three behind at the interval to breeze to a four point win and another All-Ireland. The wait for Liam McCarthy goes on and for all the hurling, no silverware to show for it. KILKENNY Manager: Brian Cody (16th season). Titles: Leinster 70 (Holders), All-Ireland 36 (Holders). 2015 championship: Beat Wexford 5-25 to 0-16 in the Leinster semi-final and won the final 1-25 to 2-15 against Galway. Then beat Waterford in the All-Ireland semi-final 1-21 to 0-18. Won the All-Ireland final v Galway, 1-22 to 1-18. How it unfolded Where to now we asked for the greatest manager of them all? Cody’s next All-Ireland would have to be won without Henry Shefflin and JJ Delaney and – maybe less obviously – the reinforcements that Aidan Fogarty, Brian Hogan, Tommy Walsh and David Herity would have offered from the bench. Yet new pillars quickly began revealing themselves en route to Cody's 11th title as manager of the Cats. They eased past Wexford and Galway to provincial glory. Waterford presented a new challenge, young and fearless, but they still prevailed. With injury worries to the likes of Richie Power, Richie Hogan and Jackie Tyrrell their stretched squad still showed their quality in another September showdown. They just keep on giving. Three in a row next year? DUBLIN Manager: Ger Cunningham (1st season). Titles: Leinster 24 (2013), All-Ireland 6 (1938). 2015 championship: Lost Leinster quarter-final replay with Galway 1-18 to 5-19. Bounced back to beat Laois by 10 points and then Limerick (1-17 to 1-16). Lost in the last eight to Waterford by five points. How it unfolded Hard to escape the feeling that the league semi-final summed them up quite neatly. Blessed with the players to make an impact, short of the killer instinct to put high-octane games to bed. And that proved the case again this summer, after a flat draw with Galway at Croke Park was followed by a capitulation in the replay as they were beaten by 13 points in Tullamore in the kind of game that tends to leave mental scars. The trip to Thurles against Limerick took them out of their comfort zone and they showed they're not to be written off. But despite giving a good account of themselves Waterford were that bit better in the quarter-finals. CARLOW Manager: Pat English (1st season ). Titles: Leinster none, All-Ireland none 2015 championship: Third in Leinster round-robin after final day 2-18 to 1-11 Antrim victory. How it unfolded The Antrim victory secured their Championship status so they'll be content. Still rolling the rock up the hill. Came so close to progress in the league but one-point defeats to Kerry and Westmeath condemned them to third spot. The follow through from Mount Leinster Rangers’s heroics two years ago and the 2013 under-21 win over Dublin hasn’t materialised. ANTRIM Manager: Kevin Ryan (3rd season).Titles: Ulster 53 (holders); All-Ireland 0. 2015 championship: Last in the Leinster round-robbin series after defeat to Carlow on the final day. How it unfolded Carlow defeat condemned them to the Christy Ring Cup. When your summer starts with a squad announcement stating faith in the manager, chances are it’s not going to last overly long. Antrim’s league displays were a shambles, culminating in defeat to Kerry and a tumble into Division 2A. However, much needed signs of life were shown in the defeat of Laois in their first championship game.That didn't last too long though. LAOIS Manager: Séamus Plunkett (3rd season). Titles: Leinster 3 (1949), All-Ireland 1 (1915). 2015 championship: Topped the round robin series before beating Offaly for the first time in the championship since 1972. Lost to Galway 3-28 to 1-14 before a 10 point defeat against Dublin. How it unfolded Were too good for the also-rans in the Leinster round-robin but looked in disarray after manager Cheddar Plunkett walked away, only to come back again. Team showed the disturbances had no bearing on the pitch as they bridged a 43-year gap to beat Offaly in Portlaoise and set up a Leinster semi-final meeting with Galway. That didn't quite go to plan though. A spirited display against Dublin followed but it couldn't be maintained. OFFALY Manager: Brian Whelehan (2nd season). Titles: Leinster 9 (1995), All-Ireland 4 (1998). 2015 championship: Lost Leinster quarter-final to Laois, their first championship loss to their neighbours since 1972. Compounded by a 0-15 to 3-26 defeat against Clare. How it unfolded Last credible win was against Wexford in 2012 but there were signs during their three league wins that things were turning around for Brian Whelehan’s side. Laois put an end to that with a 0-29 to 0-21 quarter-final victory at O’Moore Park. And after their 18-point defeat in Ennis it's hard to scale the improvement. WESTMEATH Manager: Michael Ryan (1st season).Titles: Leinster none, All-Ireland none. 2015 championship: Leinster round-robin second place after Laois defeat. Lost Leinster quarter-final 1-16 to 1-24 to Wexford. Limerick then beat them 4-15 to 1-12 in the qualifiers. How it unfolded Westmeath’s league campaign was going great guns right up until the point where it wasn’t. They topped Division 2A with a massive points difference but imploded in the final when Kerry put five goals past them in the first half. Leinster round-robin was a success but Wexford showed the gap is still large with an eight-point win in the Leinster quarter-finals. Put it up to Limerick but fell quite a bit short. WEXFORD Manager: Liam Dunne (3rd season). Titles: Leinster 20 (2004), All-Ireland 6 (1996). 2015 championship: Won Leinster quarter final against Westmeath by eight points. Lost semi-final by 24 points against Kilkenny before an eight point loss against Cork in Round 1 of the qualifiers. How it unfolded Back-to-back Leinster under-21 titles sent a decent crop Liam Dunne’s way and the evidence of last summer suggested he’s been tending to it responsibly. The league was mediocre enough and ultimately fizzled out in the second half of their quarter-final against Cork. Opened up with a handy enough win over Westmeath but Kilkenny at Nowlan Park in the semi-finals was a different matter. The dropping of Jack Guiney a week before didn't help. Cork in the qualifiers was hardly the kind of news they needed the following Monday and they were second best again.