Haile Selassie, Tivoli book berths in Walker Cup final Loop Jamaica

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Haile Selassie High players celebrate their goal during the ISSA/Digicel Walker Cup semifinal game against Wolmer’s Boys at the Stadium East field on Tuesday, November 29, 2022. (PHOTO: Marlon Reid)

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Haile Selassie High and Tivoli Gardens High School will contest the final of the ISSA/Digicel Walker Cup knockout competition after scoring identical 1-0 wins in their respective semi-final games at the Stadium East field on Tuesday.

Haile Selassie High, formed in 1969, stunned the more traditional and fancied Wolmer’s Boys courtesy of a Jahwan Payne’s strike in the first semi-final

It will be the first time Haile Selassie High — named in honour of the former Emperor of Ethiopia – will contest the final of the Walker Cup, which was formed in 1961.

Wolmer’s, formed in 1729, are the oldest school in Jamaica but they had no answers for Haile Selassie and failed in their effort to add to the five titles they won.

With the change of the Walker Cup format in 2018, which excludes the top urban-area schools, Haile Selassie now have a great chance of lifting a trophy and rewriting the history books.

Meanwhile, in the second semi-final, the less fancied Tivoli Gardens High turned back a St George’s College team that dropped out of the Manning Cup quarterfinal round and were tipped to lift their 10th Walker Cup crown.

Duane Johnson headed home in the 26th minute as Tivoli Gardens waltzed into the final of the Walker Cup they last won in 2005. They won the Cup three other times in 1978, 1994, and 1996.

St George’s College, which won the inaugural competition in 1961 and nine overall, finished the game with 10 men after striker Joshua Jackson was red-carded in the 51st minute, just seconds after missing a sitter. Then the ‘Light Blues’ missed a penalty in the 63rd minute as their top scorer Brian Burkett skied his effort to make matters worse.

St George’s should have scored several goals in the first half and once again it came back to haunt them as they ended the season empty-handed for another year.

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