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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

St Johnstone

Goodwillie would fit right in at Saints, says Brian Easton

January 17 2014

St Johnstone would be the perfect fit for David Goodwillie, according to Perth defender Brian Easton. The Scotland striker is mulling over his options after his loan deal with Dundee United came to an end this month. Saints have made him an offer, as have Aberdeen, while the Blackburn Rovers man may also have offers in England. Easton knows Goodwillie from their days as Scotland under-21 internationals, and he is well placed to give advice on how to get your career back on track after a stop-start couple of years. Goodwillie’s dilemma is one the full-back can relate to, and his advice would be sign for Saints “in a heartbeat”. Easton said: “The club is ambitious to bring the best players in that they can within their budget. We’re still in both the cups and we want to climb the league. “If he was speaking to me I’d tell him to come in a heartbeat. “Like him, I’ve had highs and lows in my career, and I’ve found a place where I’m happy. That’s a massive thing. “So if he was to ask me, I’d tell him this is a club he’d really enjoy being at. “There’s a few of us know him from the under-21s myself, David (Wotherspoon) and Murray (Davidson). “I actually spoke to him when Dundee United were in Perth a few weeks ago but I didn’t know he would be linked with us. He’s a good lad and he’d fit right in.” Confirmation of Easton’s contentment at McDiarmid Park came in the form of a new contract being signed a few days ago. “It was an easy decision because I’ve really been enjoying my football,” he said. “When the gaffer mentioned a new deal for me a few weeks ago I said ‘yeah’ immediately and it was just a matter of sorting the contract out. “In football when you’re happy you don’t want to give that up.” Tam Scobbie has also signed up on an extended deal, and the pair’s battle for the left-back slot should continue to be a keenly fought one. Easton said: “I knew with the sort of player Tam is he’d give me a run for my money for that position. But we’ve also played together as well, when Tam has slotted in at centre-back. “There’s competition for every place at this club. “You need to know that you have to be at the top of your game in training and in matches to get a starting place. That’s how it should be. “The fact that both of us have signed new deals at the same time shows we’ve both done well and we’re both in the manager’s plans.”

St Johnstone

St Johnstone’s Brian Easton looking forward to reunion with car school pal

August 11 2015

St Johnstone’s Brian Easton admits a new-look Ross County will be something of an unknown quantity when they arrive at McDiarmid tonight. However, at least one of their summer arrivals is a familiar face, last season’s team-mate and member of Easton’s car school Brian Graham. The Staggies brought in 12 players this summer, including Graham, who had previously been on loan with the Perth side from Dundee United. Easton shared car journeys to training with him along with Michael O’Halloran and Chris Millar from the west and the big defender joked Graham wasted no time bagging the best seat in the motor. Easton said: “Big Brian didn’t just have that selfish streak on the pitch! “But he was a great big guy and we all got on really well with him. “He was obviously out of contract at Dundee United. Speaking to him last season there were always other teams sniffing about. “Ross County had been keen to sign him quite early on. I think he’d maybe got it into his head about signing there and moving up. “It was disappointing to see him leave with the goals he scored. “It’s been a tough time for him because he’s just had a wee boy and he’s got a young daughter as well. “It’s maybe difficult for him being up there away from family because it’s not an easy place to just pop up to. “I’d say he is a bit of a mummy’s boy! He won’t like me saying that but I think he definitely is. “That’s the thing in football, if you decide to move somewhere like that then your whole family needs to make that sacrifice. “Everything seemed all right with him a few weeks ago. “We know how dangerous he can be in the box which will probably help us because we’ll be on our toes that bit more if he starts. “I met him a couple of weeks ago just after they got back from their pre-season trip. “He seemed to be enjoying it and he’d scored a couple of goals in pre-season. “He and the other strikers they’ve got are dangerous so we’ll have to be a lot more on our toes.” Easton and the rest of his team-mates secured a valuable point at the weekend against Inverness thanks to a last-gasp Graham Cummins goal. And Easton admitted he hopes Saints can make a better start against the Staggies. He added: “When we start the game well and we’re right in sides’ faces and working hard as a team, I think that’s when we’re at our best. “It’s definitely there and hopefully it comes together starting against Ross County. “We’re a lot better when we start games well and take the lead. “We know County finished very strongly last season. “They lost against Celtic but had a great result at the weekend. “We’re not sure who’ll start but it’s our home game so hopefully we can begin the game well. “If we do that we’ve got a really good chance of winning.”

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

Motoring news

Form an orderly Q for Audi SUV

August 10 2016

First there was the Q7. Then the Q5 and Q3. All have been a phenomenal success for Audi. I’d be surprised if that script changes when the Q2 arrives in November. Audi’s baby SUV is available to order now with prices starting at £22,380. Can’t quite stretch to that? Don’t worry, an entry level three-cylinder 1.0 litre version will be available later this year with a cover tag of £20,230. From launch, there are three trim levels available for the Q2 called SE, Sport and S Line. The range-topping Edition #1 model will be available to order from next month priced from £31,170. While the entry-level 113bhp 1.0-litre unit isn’t available right away, engines you can order now include a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol unit, both with manual or S tronic automatic transmissions. Also joining the Q2 line-up from September is the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp or 187bhp. This unit comes with optional Quattro all-wheel drive. A 2.0 litre petrol with Quattro and S tronic joins the range next year. Standard equipment for the new Audi Q2 includes a multimedia infotainment system with rotary/push-button controls, supported with sat-nav. Audi’s smartphone-friendly interface, 16in alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and heated and electric mirrors are all also standard for the Audi. Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the larger Audi models – including the Audi pre sense front with pedestrian recognition that is standard. The system recognises critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up include adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assist.


Dundee man sentenced to five months in jail for assaulting woman

February 6 2014

A Dundee man has been jailed after admitting assaulting an 18-year-old woman. Andrew Pattie, 21, of Americanmuir Road, admitted assaulting Nicola Easton, putting his arm across her throat and grabbing a mobile phone from her on January 11 at Baldovan Terrace. He had previously admitted on the same date wilfully or recklessly destroying or damaging property belonging to another and kicking the rear light of a car, smashing it. He had also previously admitted resisting, obstructing or hindering police constables Gareth Irons and Lauren Jeffrey and violently lashing out with his arms and legs. The court heard Miss Easton had been “extremely uncooperative” with police and claimed she had not met Pattie before this. Depute fiscal Eilidh Robertson said they had been walking home from a party and they were in Baldovan Terrace around 1am when three individuals in homes overlooking the road heard shouting. She said: “The parties all looked outside and could see the accused putting his arm across the throat of the complainer while trying to grab a mobile telephone from her and there was a struggle over the mobile phone.” The witnesses phoned the police as they were concerned for Miss Easton. Ms Robertson said: “She was able to break free from the accused and he kicked the rear of a motor vehicle.” She added: “The accused was detained and became violent, struggled with them and lashed out with his arms and legs.” Defending, Jack Brown said: “Drink had been taken. That had been a difficulty he had been dealing with over a period of time as well as issues with anger management.” He said Miss Easton had been on the phone to someone who was bad-mouthing Pattie and he wanted that to end. “In the course of that struggle he put his arm across Miss Easton’s throat,” Mr Brown said. Sheriff David Hall told Pattie there was no alternative to custody and sentenced him to five months.

St Johnstone

Another operation for St Johnstone’s Brian Easton

April 27 2018

Brian Easton’s “total write off” of a season has had the tin lid put on it with the news that the St Johnstone defender needs another operation. The last of the 30-year-old’s 15 appearances in this campaign came as a substitute against Dundee at the end of December. A comeback before the 2017/18 season is over has now been ruled out, with being ready for pre-season the aim for the left-back. “Brian had to go and see a specialist again,” reported manager Tommy Wright. “Unfortunately he needs another operation (in the groin area) next week which is hugely disappointing and frustrating for him. It’s been a total write off this season. “I think Lee Wallace has a similar type of injury. The injury is really difficult to fix and even when you have the operation there can be problems. “While the first operation was a success, the surgeon feels he needs to go back in. It’s a smaller operation, but still an operation. “The plan will be that in three or four weeks he should be in full training again. It will be a programme that he will have to work hard on to be ready for pre-season.” Easton apart, Wright is starting to see players return to fitness. "This week has been pretty good in terms of injuries,” he said. “Stefan Scougall came back and got on the pitch for 15 minutes at Dundee. “He played 45 minutes for the under-20s on Monday as did Callum Hendry. The plan was always to play David McMillan for 30 minutes. “Out of the three, Stefan will probably be the only one involved on Saturday. But the other two, depending how they come through Thursday (another under-20s match), should be involved for the last three games. “Chris Kane and Blair Alston are still making progress but we know they won’t be back this season. Murray Davidson is still suspended.” Tomorrow’s opponents, Partick Thistle, stopped a dreadful run of results against Hamilton Accies last weekend and could climb out of the bottom two if they win at McDiarmid Park. “It was a great result for Partick,” said Wright. “In my time in Scotland I have had a lot of respect for Alan (Archibald) and what he has done, especially last year. “It’s been a difficult season for them in terms of injuries and it certainly has affected them. “They probably need to stay unbeaten, winning three games, to get away from 11th and bottom place. “Their league position is a surprise but it reflects the league and how tight it is. It also reflects how brilliantly they did last year. “Alan probably had more continuity in selection last season which has been hampered. Perhaps new players haven’t settled in as quickly as he would have liked. “But they are still a good side and Alan is still a good manager - a very good manager.” Wright added: “We’re trying to win the game for different reasons. We want to bounce back from last week and finish seventh. “It would take a freakish run of results for us to be dragged into 11th place but we need to make sure we finish strongly. “That would bring a feel-good factor to take into next season.” Meanwhile, Wright revealed that departing keeper Alan Mannus will get one more chance to pull on a Saints shirt, but not until the last day of the season “Zander will play the next three games and I’m going to give Alan the last one,” he explained. “When Alan told me he was leaving I was up-front and said what we were going to do. He is happy with the situation.”

St Johnstone

Morton 1 St Johnstone 3: Super Saints go marching on into League Cup semi-finals

October 27 2015

St Johnstone produced a stirring comeback against Morton at Cappielow to secure their place in the semi-finals of the League Cup. Saints dominated the first-half against the Championship side but went behind to a sucker-punch goal at the start of the second 45. However, they picked themselves up off the canvas to net two quick-fire counters through Steven MacLean from the penalty spot and then the second by Michael O’Halloran with Saints Premiership class ultimately telling in the end with Chris Kane netting a third. St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright made two changes from the side that beat Inverness in the Highlands on Saturday with Brian Easton replacing Darnell Fisher and Liam Craig coming in for skipper Dave Mackay who was suspended after his red card against Caley. Morton manager Jim Duffy’s men approached the game with confidence high following their league win over Alloa at the weekend but there was no place in their starting line-up for former Saints favourite Peter MacDonald who is currently injured. St Johnstone made a high-tempo start and came agonisingly close to opening the scoring in just the seventh minute. Craig swung a corner in from the right with Graham Cummins heading the ball off the underside of Morton goalie Derek Gaston’s crossbar. The home side had an opportunity of their own shortly after when Ross Forbes hit a low long-range shot that whizzed just past Alan Mannus’s left-hand post. Saints then had a half-chance of their own when Craig latched onto a knock-down from Cummins in the Morton box but he scuffed his shot and the danger passed. Craig was the provider in the 18th minute from another corner with a Joe Shaughnessy effort hitting the outside of the post. Saints continued to turn the screw with Steven Anderson having a flicked shot saved on the line by Gaston and then Cummins shot just wide from close range. Morton were also looking lively and Tam Scobbie had to make a superb block as Denny Johnstone pulled the trigger inside the Saints penalty area. However, St Johnstone continued to look dangerous, especially at setpieces with the home side struggling to clear their lines. Wright’s side had another great opportunity to open the scoring in the 39th minute when O’Halloran crossed from the right for MacLean but the striker could not get enough purchase on his shot and the chance went abegging. Saints continued to press and Craig sent a 22-yard shot just over Gaston’s bar. Morton though had a chance of their own just before half-time when Forbes sent a free-kick into the Saints box with Luca Gasparotto flashing a header just wide of Mannus’s right post. As the two teams headed down the tunnel at the interval, the only surprise was that this entertaining cup tie had yet to produce a goal, The second half was just seconds old when O’Halloran embarked on a scorching run down the right past four defenders before hitting a cut-back to Cummins whose close-range shot was superbly blocked by Lee Kilday. However, Saints were stunned in the 52nd minute when they conceded the opening goal after Conor Pepper sent a cut-back in from the home right towards Denny Johnstone who made no mistake sweeping the ball home past the helpless Mannus from eight yards. Wright would have been looking for a quick response and he got it just nine minutes later. Lappin sent another corner in from the right with the ball being needlessly handled by Forbes with referee Craig Thomson pointing to the spot. MacLean stepped up to emphatically drill the penalty past Gaston to bring the sides level. Saints then scored a quickfire second in the 64th minute when O’Halloran burst into the Morton box and fired a crisp angled shot into the far corner of Gaston’s net. Wright’s side then put a gloss on the scoreline with a lightning counter-attacking third with O’Halloran breaking from inside his own half before playing in sub Kane who made no mistake shooting high past Gaston from 14 yards to ensure it would be Saints going through to the semi-finals of the League Cup. Attendance 2,433. Morton Gaston, Kilday, O’Ware, Miller, Forbes (Orr, 85), Johnstone, McCluskey, Pepper (Scullion, 80), Barr (Tidser, 80), Russell, Gasparotto. Subs not used Adam, McKee, Stevenson. St Johnstone Mannus, Scobbie, Lappin, Anderson, Davidson, MacLean, Shaughnessy, Cummins (Kane, 75), Easton, Craig, O’Halloran (Wotherspoon, 87). Subs not used Clark, Sutton, McKay, Caddis, Fisher. Referee Craig Thomson.