Selassie, Tivoli chase Walker Cup crown today
Jarraine Selvyn (left) of Haile Selassie is dispossessed by Kristoff Folkes of Wolmer's Boys' during their ISSA/Digicel Walker Cup knockout semi-final contest at Stadium East field on Tuesday. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)

At the top of the season neither Haile Selassie nor Tivoli High were favoured to cop silverware, but as fate would have it, one will be crowned new champions of ISSA/Digicel Walker Cup competition today.

This 3:30 pm final encounter will serve as a curtain-raiser for the much-anticipated Manning Cup showpiece between Jamaica College and St Andrew Technical High School at Sabina Park.

Both Haile Selassie and Tivoli have shown a great deal of potential throughout the season and very rightly deserve their position here having downed the more resourceful Wolmer's Boys' and St George's College (STGC) by identical 1-0 scorelines in their respective semi-finals.

Still, Haile Selassie, who have already created history by being in this their first-ever schoolboy football final, will start slight favourites by virtue of them easily upstaging now dethroned two-time defending champions St Catherine High 4-1 in their quarter-final meeting.

The Payne Avenue-based team will now be hoping to replicate that form today and rewrite the history books by securing their first hold on the title.

But while they are both confident and hungry to create history, Linval Dixon's boys will have to put every step right and, by extension, execute efficiently if they are to end the season on a winning note.

Tivoli High will be bent on breaking a 17-year drought dating back to 2005 when they won the last of their four titles.

This represents their best opportunity to do so and, as such, should be highly motivated to make the most of their chances here.

Head Coach Christopher Nicholas would have taken his team to task after their semi-final win over STGC and learnt the lessons from the encounter and, as such, they should be very much intent on producing a more clinical showing as Haile Selassie have proven that they can be lethal when focused.

Still, it is anybody's guess where off Spanish Town Road the title will end up, and that unpredictability has generated some intrigue around the contest.

As a result of the no-extra-time rule, if the game ends in a stalemate after regulation time, it will go straight to penalty kicks.

Sherdon Cowan

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