Wales v England clash splits border village down the middle

DOHA, Nov 28 (Reuters) - It may be a long way from the desert heat of Qatar, but nowhere will Tuesday's World Cup clash between Wales and England have more resonance than in the village of Llanymynech.

Straddling the border between the two nations, Llanymynech's 2,000 or so residents have been counting down the days to the match ever since the draw for the tournament was made.

For one night, the otherwise tight-knit community will be split down the middle - largely divided by choice of watering hole.

The Cross Keys pub sits on the English side of the road passing through the centre of the village, while on the opposite side is The Dolphin, from which point on everything is Welsh.

"If you're on the path you're in Wales, if you're in here you're in Shropshire," Jason Farr, owner of The Cross Keys, was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph.

Sarah Gregory, whose sister and brother-in-law run the Dolphin, said match nights can get quite lively.

"When Wales score, people run out, shout and come back," she told the Telegraph. "Then if England score they come and give some abuse and run back.

"Friendly abuse. We have a good banter."

Judging by recent history things might be a little louder in the Cross Keys on Tuesday.

England have won the last six meetings between the sides, and the last time Wales tasted victory was in 1984.

After a 64-year wait to return to a World Cup, Wales are on the brink of elimination and will need to beat England, possibly by a four-goal margin, to reach the last 16.

But what happens if Wales do get knocked out? Would the Dolphin drinkers switch to supporting England?

"I'd probably support someone else if I'm honest," golf club manager Jason Jones said.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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