Morning pints and prayers
McDONALD'S was empty, no one was queuing for the cinema and the roads around Cardinal Park were eerily free of traffic.But the deafening roar that echoed around the town 24 minutes into the game was matched by dismayed groans when Sweden equalised.
McDONALD'S was empty, no one was queuing for the cinema and the roads around Cardinal Park were eerily free of traffic.
But the deafening roar that echoed around the town 24 minutes into the game was matched by dismayed groans when Sweden equalised.
Football fans packed Brannigans yesterday to watch England's first match of the World Cup.
Even divine intervention, courtesy of the region's churches, was not enough to stop Beckham's team being held 1-1 by Sweden.
Curate of St Andrew's in Rushmere, Marilyn Adsetts, said: "We weren't exactly praying for a victory, but the football did get a mention."
But all is not lost for England, according to fans.
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Neil Berry, who was up at 6.30am to watch Argentina play Nigeria, said: "Argentina aren't playing that well. I think we stand a good chance against them. And I think we should beat Nigeria."
Pint in hand, Mr Berry said: "I could have watched this game at home, but the atmosphere in the pub is much better for a game like this."
Business was brisk for Brannigans manager Dave De-Dona, who laid on extra staff, some swathed in union flags, to open for business at 10am.
Bacon butties were on sale along with the beer. But Mr De-Dona made a confession that would have turned his punters' pints sour.
He said: "To be honest, I'm Italian so I will be supporting Italy in the World Cup. Don't tell anyone, though."
To make amends, he is offering selected lagers and bottled beer at a reduced rate for England matches – providing they do better than draw and manage to keep in the fray.